The One & Only Reaching for Young Stars competition is an annual competition that draws the ‘royalty’ of the South African hospitality world, providing a platform for our executive chefs, cooks, bakers, winemakers, wine stewards and sommeliers to come together offering a growth path and the stimulus to continue growing while giving candidates the means to prove themselves in the wider world of hospitality leading to career advancement and ultimately recognition, growing South African stars of tomorrow.

The students are invited to a Skills Exchange Development Programme in advance of the Competition in September where they experienced talks, demonstrations and lectures from top executive chefs, sommeliers, bakers, food authors and hospitality industry experts who have already found success in South Africa and around the world. They met the partners and judges, and inter- faced with the farmers and producers who supplied the food ingredients rigorously selected for their adherence to the best local quality can offer.

Each of the culinary academies put forward some of their finest and most talented young students, all vying for top honours. Hurst’s team spent weeks preparing, practicing and getting ready for the big day, and the heat was definitely on. Not only was it a scorcher of a day with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, but all teams performed in an exemplary manner. The results were announced last week at a Gala Luncheon hosted in the ballroom of the magnificent One and Only Hotel in Cape Town.

We couldn’t be prouder of our team and their results in the competition. Our very own Bevan Trimm won First Prize for Beverage Service. Among his many prizes he has been given an all-expenses paid working experience to Massachusetts in 2020.

Bevan Trimm and Marcelle Strydom were also our duo who won first place in the Best Dessert And Wine Pairing Category. Nicolene Oosthuizen was selected as one of the Top 3 Pastry Chefs and Marcelle Strydom was placed 2nd overall in the Chef of the Year Category and will also be flying to the United States as part of her prize. This success is truly a reflection of the hard work each and every member of the team put in, and we are very proud of them. Thanks must also be given to our dedicated mentors, Chefs Hennie and Pierre for overseeing hours of practice and to Tessa Creamer who worked that service magic with Bevan. We salute and thank Annette and Chania from Showcook.com and all of the sponsors for making dreams come true, and we look forward to the competition again next year!

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