With his dish titled ‘Isicupho’, Sous Chef Vusumuzi from the Pot Luck Club pop-up at Marabi Club finished ahead of nine other local semi-finalists, all hand-selected by ALMA.


Following a day of outstanding performances by 10 of the most talented rising chefs from Africa and Middle East, Chef Vusumuzi Ndlovu has been announced the winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Africa and Middle East semifinal, and will advance to the global finals round to take place in June of 2018 in Milan, Italy. The regional challenge took place in October 2017 at International Centre for Culinary Arts, a world-class 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.

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 Consultancy and Harringtons Cocktail Lounge in South Africa.

Chef Vusumuzi said: “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 too. So it’s a win for them too.” The local competitions round will continue from June to 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.

For more information, visit S.Pellegrino.

Source and Images: S.Pellegrino