AFRICAN Sun’s recent inter-hotel cooking competition held at Elephant Hills Resort, Victoria Falls, featured three top local judges, including newcomer Simon Davey (executive chef Zimbabwe and West Africa) of the host hospitality group.
Recently recruited to the local hospitality group, Simon –– who has created menus at top Five-Star hotels and restaurants in France, England and the Persian Gulf –– has himself won many prestigious major international cookery competitions and his professional inputs were invaluable.
Formerly extensively involved with catering on luxury cruise ships, he judged alongside African Sun Ltd group executive chef Leonard Moyo and master chef Chris Gonzo of Meikles Hotel. Both have competed and judged widely at local, regional and international cookery competitions.
Speaking during the two-day competition, all judges said the idea of cookery competitions was to hone the skills of young home-grown Zimbabwean chefs, putting them in a position to successfully compete — on level playing fields –– with the very best overseas talent.
Attractive prizes included a 10-day secondment (“exposure attachment”) to African Sun’s award-winning South African hotels, The Grace in Rosebank and The Lakes in Benoni, over the World Cup 2010 period. Other prizes featured were attachments at any Zimbabwean African Sun hotel of choice; cash; air and bus tickets between Harare and Victoria Falls and product vouchers from sponsors.
The competition, now to be held twice yearly, is open to all cooks and chefs employed by the group.
Winners were hors d’oevres with six items for four people: winner Shiella Nyikadzino (Elephant Hills Resort); 2nd Taswika Moyo, Victoria Falls Hotel; 3rd Fiyanda Muskwe, The Kingdom at Victoria Falls.
Carver (fruit or Parfex) 1) Webster Mangwende (Crowne Plaza Monomatapa); 2nd Peddington Teuro (Holiday Inn, Harare); 3rd Vengesai Chinodyenama (The Kingdom)
Cake of the Year 1st Qondile Ncube (Victoria Falls Hotel); 2nd Simukai Mkwebu (Elephant Hills); 3rd Nicholas Gotosa (Elephant Hills).
Signature Dish of the Year: 1) Nicholas Gotosa (Elephant Hills)’ 2nd Moses Wani (Express by Holiday Inn, Beitbridge); 3) Vengesai Chinodyenema (The Kingdom)
Dessert buffet for four pax with six items: Winner Qondile Ncube (VFH); 2nd Silindokulhe Bhebhe (Kingdom); 3rd Mike Chipembere (Holiday Inn, Bulawayo).
Chef of the Year: (working in teams of two): Taswika Moyo (VFH) and Marget Tandi (Holiday Inn, Harare)
1st runners-up were: Fiyanda Muskwe (Kingdom) and Peter Chihora (Troutbeck Sun Resort); 2nd runners-up Angeline Zunga (Express by Holiday Inn, Beitbridge) and Webster Mangwende (Crowne Plaza Monomatapa).
Taswika Moyo of The Victoria Falls Hotel won a special prize as The Most Participating and Passionate Chef; Crowne Plaza Monomatapa’s Webster Mangwende was voted Best Groomed Chef and Qondile Ncube of the 106-year-old Victoria Falls Hotel was named Most Promising Young Chef.
All participants, judges and some spectators were treated to a spectacular lunchtime cruise with drinks, snacks and traditional music on the mighty Zambezi river.