July 10, 2023


RCL Foods Young Chefs Competition Winners 2022, Nicole Bowes and Matthew Maree from Silwood School of Cookery with James Khoza (President of SA Chefs Association), Stewart Jones (customer marketing executive, RCL FOODS) and Brad Kavanagh (Head Chef, RCL FOODS)

RCL FOODS, in collaboration with the South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs), is thrilled to announce that entries for the eagerly anticipated RCL FOODS Young Chefs & Bakers Challenge 2023 have opened. The challenge, combining both the Young Chef and Young Baker categories, presents a unique platform for full-time culinary students in South Africa to demonstrate their talent.

The integrated competition encourages aspiring chefs and bakers to showcase their skills in both fields, competing in teams of two and entering their creative recipes using RCL FOODS, Rainbow, Siqalo Foods, and LiveKindly products, among others. Successful participants will then compete in nail-biting stages including semi-finals and a grand national final.

Brad Kavanagh, RCL FOODS’ Head Chef, highlighted the importance of this event, “By creating a platform for young chefs and bakers to showcase their talent, we are fostering culinary expertise in our industry and establishing a positive, sustainable impact.”

The competition is open to legal residents of South Africa, aged between 18 and 27 years, who are enrolled with a professional institution or in a service (traineeship) programme focusing on Culinary Arts or a Professional Cookery programme. 

Entrants chosen for the semi-finals, which take place in KZN, Gauteng and Cape Town on 14 September, will have the opportunity to exhibit their culinary prowess in a more extensive format. Teams will be tasked with crafting a bread course, a restaurant main course, and a dessert, showcasing the full spectrum of their cooking and baking skills.

The competition culminates in an exhilarating finale where the participants’ culinary talents will truly shine on 12 October, as the best three teams from each regional cluster compete based on criteria such as the correct use of pre-determined ingredients, creativity, presentation, innovation, and technical correctness. An esteemed panel of judges from SA Chefs will adjudicate the entries. 

Generous cash prizes await the winning teams, with R30,000 for the first place, R20,000 for the second, and R15,000 for the third place, split equally between the team participants. “The competition also offers a tremendous opportunity for the participants to make a name in the industry and pave the way for a successful culinary career,” comments Chef Lesley Jacobs, Competitions Director of SA Chefs. 

The competition closes at 23:59 on July 31, 2023. For further details about the competition rules, prizes, and to download entry forms, please visit the RCL FOODS website at https://rclfoods.com/brand/young-chefs-bakers/.

RCL Foods 2022 Young Chef silver winners – Matthew Van Heerden and Shanuel Zimba, 1000 Hills Chef School
Simthandile Nomandla from FBI Chef School & Patisserie Academy, winning baker in the 2022 RCL Foods Young Baker competition

Our strategy is founded on a clear sense of who we are and where we are going as a business. We aim to create the future Our Way – driven by Our Passion and Our Ambition and guided by Our Values.