SA welcomes world’s chefsJuly 6th, 2011 by Susan Reynard | Categories: feature, food, hotels, industry, people, products, restaurants, social, tourism, training
More than 220 chefs from across the world are coming to South Africa in August with the aim of raising more than R5-million to feed hundreds of thousands of starving children. From August 21, the 10-day Bidvest World Chefs Tour Against Hunger will host public fundraising initiatives and gala dinners in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town to raise awareness of the plight of starving South Africans and to finance food for them.
The South African Chefs Association is hosting the event, with past presidents Dr Bill Gallagher and Martin Kobald co-convenors. Gallagher is founder of the event, which has taken place twice before, in 1993 and 2003. This year’s event is by far the biggest and shows the global concern for hunger in South Africa.
The Academy of Chefs, the honour society of the South African Chefs Association, has already held various fundraising initiatives. It regularly contributes to the growing coffers for this big event.
Other suppliers and sponsors have also been involved in encouraging public and industry participation, raising funds and organising pre-Tour special events to boost the coffers.
In addition, organisers are holding gala dinners around the world to raise awareness of the scourge of hunger while raising money. Bidvest, operational in 20 countries and across four continents, provides substantial international reach of its own.
Says Kobald: “We anticipate that the Bidvest World Chefs’ Tour Against Hunger will prove to be the biggest fundraising event ever undertaken within the global chefs’ fraternity. We feel hugely privileged to be supported by Bidvest and afforded the opportunity to invite chefs from around the world to share their knowledge and compassion in the fight against hunger.”
Here are the reasons given by a handful of the participating chefs on why they are looking forward to the Tour:
- Australia’s Michael Strautmanis: “To attempt to be part of an equalisation of the ones, like us, that have food and other things in an overabundance, and the giving to others that need it so much more than we.”
- England’s James Eaves: “I want to learn about South Africa’s culture, to cook in a different environment and to learn new things about food. It will be great experience to work on such a large event with so many chefs from all over the world.”
- Congo’s Gambouele Ikue Jacques: “To have experience and learn from other world chefs their social and humanitarian programs.”
- Tanzania’s William Mkweche: “I’m really concerned with the poor, and am happy to be a part of it [the Tour] and want to use this experience to learn more from other chefs.”
- Netherlands’ Bert van Manen: “I hope when we are going home that I will have the feeling that we did something good against hunger.”
- Germany’s Andreas Widmann: “To help fight against hunger with my own hands and learn interesting things about South African culture.”
- Canada’s Shonah Chalmers: “The thought of connecting, cooking and sharing with chefs from all over the world would be an incredible occurrence for me. Seeing how the country runs, what our similarities and differences are on a day to day basis may be a fantastic experience for me and all others involved.”
- Israel’s Uri Guttmann: “I would like to help cooking for the poor people and help raising money for them. Also looking forward to meet good old friends.”
- Egypt’s Nermine Hanno: “As chairman of World Chefs Without Borders, I am looking forward to cooperation between us and learning more about how this is done so we can do the same on the continental level and then possibly on the global level.”
In 1993, when international chefs first came to South Africa to raise money to fight hunger, R500 000 was raised. The follow-up 10th anniversary tour in 2003 raised R1.5-million.
Countries sending chefs to participate include Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Congo, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Emirates, England, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mauritius, Middle Bohemia, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Tyrol, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, USA, Wales and of course South Africa.
Sponsors to date include: Bidvest; Southern Sun; Vulcan Catering Equipment; Oasys Innovations; Bidvest Foodservice; Bidvest Ingredients; Unifine Foods; Chipkins Catering Supplies; BOSE; Budget Car Rental; and Crocs footwear. Also contributing are: Mastrantonio; Chef Works; Zandvliet Wine Estate; Fedics; SAB; Alliance Safety Management; Thava Indian Restaurant; Sinclairs; Sandton Convention Centre; and Riverside Mall. Other participants include: Foodiction; Montecasino; M&M Hiring; Lou’s; Lithotec; Hyde Park Shopping Centre; Hemingways Casino & Hotel; First Food Distributors; Emnotweni Casino & Hotel; and Distell Group.
Call to action: For more information on all of the visiting chefs, current corporate and industry participants, events planned, overall programme and how you can participate or contribute to the success of the Bidvest World Chefs Tour Against Hunger, go to www.worldchefstour.co.za.
Fight against hunger and win! Answer one easy question and you could stand a chance of winning a dinner for two at one of Southern Sun’s Food Festivals valued at R600. Question: At which leading hotel group will the Food Festivals for the Bidvest World Chefs Tour Against Hunger be held? Email your full details to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your answer in the subject line and you could stand a chance of winning this prize.
Pictured above are (from left) Brian Joffe from Bidvest, co-convenor Martin Kobald, Graham Wood from Southern Sun, and co-convenor and founder Bill Gallagher with a child from the Akani Diepsloot Foundation rally the industry to get involved in this worthy initiative.