Otway wins Madame Zingara’s chef’s showcaseAugust 3rd, 2011 by Andrew Moth | Categories: food, industry, people, restaurants, tourism, training
Joe Otway won Madame Zingara’s first Chef’s Showcase held at the Sidewalk Café in Vredehoek, Cape Town, over the past two months.
Otway (on the far right in the picture above) received the most votes from diners after chefs in the group that runs The Sidewalk Café, Café Mozart, Café Paradiso and The Bombay Bicycle Club were offered the opportunity of one week each in which to showcase menus they created from scratch.
The stakes were high as the chefs not only had to design and serve their own breakfast, lunch and dinner menu in that time, but also interact with diners to share their thinking behind the dishes. Diners then rated the performance of each chef.
Otway, who is from the UK, said: “ “I am very happy to have won the showcase, especially since I was up against highly experienced chefs. I am very humbled and honoured to have been afforded this opportunity.”
The showcase created a unique platform for the chefs to demonstrate their talent and culinary style in a competition limited only by their food knowledge and skill.
“This project not only encouraged and inspired our staff to be more creative and innovative with their dishes, but also received high praise from both new and regular Sidewalk Café customers,” said Madame Zingara founder and MD Richard Griffin.
“Congratulations to Joe for having won the challenge. He is a very skilled chef and we are proud that he is part of the Madame Zingara family.”
Griffin said his favourite part of Otway’s menu had been the chocolate mousse cake served with pecan chocolate fudge and black cherry granita.
“Overall this project was an incredible success,” said Griffin. “Our chefs took on the challenge and demonstrated what they are capable of – creating amazing food and delivering high quality service which is the driving force behind the Zingara brand. Watch this space for the Summer Store Showcase that will be held at Café Mozart.”
Otway joined the Madame Zingara group late last year as part of the Café Paradiso team.
The original Madame Zingara restaurant was founded in 2001 by Griffin in the Cape town CBD. An 80-seater, Madame Zingara was known for its outlandish glitter-dusted service and Griffin’s culinary creations.
Disaster struck in 2006 and the restaurant was burnt to the ground, Unable to rebuild what was lost, the Zingara team created the Theatre of Dreams – a travelling dinner cirque extravaganza housed in one of the last remaining antique mirror tents in the world.
Enjoying full houses in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, Madame Zingara transformed the concept of dining out in South Africa, earning many accolades and awards along the way.
As a Cape Town-based business, the Zingara Group has restored and resurrected landmark city restaurants: The Sidewalk Café, Café Mozart, Café Paradiso and The Bombay Bicycle Club.