Culinary Arts Association of South Africa holds successful Imbizo in NelspruitJune 20th, 2012 by Susan Reynard | Categories: food, industry, people, restaurants, tourism, training
Training of young chefs is a critical part of any association and organisation’s responsibilities. The Culinary Arts Association of South Africa, which started in 2008, has held a successful “Imbizo” in Nelspruit to boost skills development (some of those attending are pictured above).
The 18th and 19th of May marked the fourth Imbizo hosted by CAASA, which took place at Mrtt HTA, a hospitality school and hotel in the lowveld of Mpumalanga just outside Nelspruit. The Imbizo, which took tremendous effort in planning, was declared a huge success and an eye-opener for those who attended.
Programmes for both days comprised of motivational and educational talks, culinary competitions, exhibitions from leading brands in South Africa and also the feeding of orphans from the local community of Kanyamazane where Mrtt is located.
Various culinary competitions took place throughout the two days, including a mystery basket for senior and junior chefs, cake challenge, African buffet challenge and the student skills challenge. The mystery basket competition saw chefs prepare a four-course meal from ingredients they were presented with shortly before the competition began, testing their skills of creativity, recipe development and cooking methods. The student skills challenge saw students display their knife skills with hope of winning a floating trophy for their school and also sets of knives, which are essential for every up and coming chef. In the African buffet challenge, competitors were required to display a four-course African buffet and would be judged on creativity, taste and presentation.
Junior Mystery Basket Competition – Mrtt Hotel School
Senior Mystery Basket Competition – Divine Dlamini
Cake Decorating Challenge – Albert Kheswa
White Star Student Skills Challenge – CPSH School of Hospitality
African Buffet Challenge – Protea Hotel The Park
The two-day event showcased specialised skills, such as fruit carving by Alfred Kwena from Mafikeng, cooking demonstrations by Unilever Food Solutions chef Linah Maruping, chefs Mbulelo Magida, Divine Dlamini and Zakhele Makana dissected a springbok, and baristas from Ciro Beverages demonstrated hot beverage skills including latte art, to name a few.
After the formation of CAASA, which held its first Imbizo in Soweto in 2009, the association formed a team of culinary professionals in what later become Team CAASA. Team CAASA represents the association in all of its culinary competitions and hospitality events. At the Imbizo in Nelspruit the team displayed their tapas, which they have coined a name for and now call them “Ncaaz”.
The team standards are improving with the assistance of the team’s manager chef Citrum Khumalo. The team is made up of individuals from different backgrounds and each individual brings his or her own skills to the kitchen. Members include: Divine Dlamini, Perseverence Mathumetje, Pontsho Mabidikama, Mbulelo Magida, Charles Montshiwa (team captain), Mahlatsi Madimabe, Albert Kheswa, Davies Moagi and Patricia Makgaba.
CAASA thanked the community of Kanyamazane, who came out in numbers to support the event and were part of the exchange of knowledge. An association spokesperson said afterwards: “I am sure I speak for everyone when I say everyone who attended the Imbizo left with some knowledge worth their while. So thanks to Mrtt Hotel for helping host such a magnificent event and opening their arms wide so we could feel at home. We are hoping the Imbizo was just the beginning of a fruitful working relationship within the hospitality industry. The Imbizo would not have been the same if we did not have present children from the community to enjoy with us and also for us to also educate and mentor them. It gave us great joy to see the smiles on their faces and this to us was a sign that we were doing something inspiring by educating these children. In ending we would also like to thank all our members who attended the Imbizo and also our colleagues who came all the way from Namibia to attend the Imbizo – their presence encouraged us and give us hope that the Culinary Arts Association of South Africa is a force to be reckoned with. Till we meet again at the next Imbizo, let’s keep it cooking!!”
Sponsors and partners in the Imbizo included Spekko, McCain, Stellekaya Wines, SAB, Aquelle, SA Avocado Growers Association, FoodBoys, Shoprite, J.Gross, Cape Wine Academy, MacBrothers, Shangan Foods, Caterco, Lassar Knives, Dynachem/Specichem, White Star, Turn ‘n Slice, Bevrae, Woolworths Nelspruit, Spar Crossing Nelspruit and Cooking Unlimited in Nelspruit.
For more information on CAASA, becoming a member or receiving its newsletter, email email@example.com, tel. 011 025 5873, fax 086 551 0715 or visit their website on www.caasa.org.za.