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Chef Vusumuzi Ndlovu wins S.Pellegrino Young Chef Africa and Middle East semifinal

Chef Vusumuzi to represent Africa and Middle East region at the grand finale in Milan next year

Following a day of outstanding performances in the cooking contest held at ICCA Dubai by ten of the most talented rising chefs from Africa and Middle East, Chef Vusumuzi Ndlovu, from the Pop Luck Club in Johannesburg, is the winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Africa and Middle East semifinal.

His winning dish secured him a trip to the global finals, set to take place in June 2018 in Milan, Italy.

With his dish titled ‘Isicupho’, Sous Chef Vusumuzi from The Saxon Hotel Villas and Spa finished ahead of nine other local semi-finalists, all hand-selected by ALMA, a world’s leading international educational and training centre for Italian cuisine.

The regional challenge took place at International Centre for Culinary Arts, a culinary training centre in Dubai. A distinguished jury of chefs, including Sascha Triemer, Marthinus Ferreira and Dominique Grel representing Dubai, South Africa and Mauritius respectively, tasted and evaluated each of the semi-finalists prepared signature dishes based on their adherence to the competition’s five “Golden Rules”: ingredients, skill, genius, beauty and message.

Jury member Sascha Triemer, Vice President, Food & Beverage – Atlantis, The Palm said: “While cooking in a challenging environment, the chefs employed interesting variances of techniques and ingredients; and played well with textures and combinations. They also demonstrated higher levels of creativity, which is reflective in the inspiration behind selecting their dishes. Congratulations to Chef Vusumuzi on representing the region at the final event, and to the semi-finalists who competed with exceptional attributes.”

“I’m proud of what I have achieved in Dubai – I couldn’t have achieved all of that without the great minds around me. As much as I’ll be representing the region, I’m representing all of these people. So it’s a win for them too,” said Chef Vusumuzi.

The local competitions round will continue until December 2017, where semi-finalists from across the world will compete for a chance to move on to the global finals in Milan. By the end of December 2017, 21 Young Chefs will be announced as official finalists, who will each be assigned a “Mentor Chef” from their regional jury. The Mentor Chefs will support the young chefs leading up to the Grand Finale, providing them guidance on how to improve their signature dishes.

Alongside Sous Chef Vusumuzi, other regional semifinalists were Chef Aditya Kumar Jha from Tamba Abu Dhabi, Chef Mario Christianto from The Exchange Grill Restaurant in Dubai and Chef Nigel Lobo at The Eloquent Elephant, Sous Chef Jorge Alexis Falcon Valera from Cantina Kahlo in Bahrain, Sous Chef Georgios Spandos from Palm Hotel & Spa and from South Africa Chef de Partie Bianca Strydom from The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Chef de Partie Garth Raubenheimer from Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient, Chef de Partie Paul Prinsloo from The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Chef Sheldon Raju from Sheldon Raju Cosultancy and Harringtons Cocktail Lounge in South Africa.

Exclusive content and updates on S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 will be published regularly on Follow the story on Facebook and Instagram via #SPYoungChef.

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