Meet South Africa’s Young Chefs On The Rise -#freshmushroomchef

The South African Mushrooms Farmers’ Association (SAMFA) with the South African Chefs’ Association (SACA) invited all young South African student chefs to provide recipes which would illustrate to enthusiastic homeCOOKS how they could become brilliant homeCHEFS by simply adding the magic of homegrown mushrooms!

Five finalists were selected by accredited SACA judges from a host of entries and the winner was decided at a live cook off at the Capsicum Culinary Studio in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Ross Richardson, Chairperson of SAMFA was thrilled with the quality of entries received and it was a tough job to decide on the 5 finalists. All the young chefs made magical dishes,” said Ross and “fresh, delicious and flavoursome mushrooms were the key to their success! 

The winner of this delicious Make Every Day Gourmet with the Magic of Mushrooms competition, was Johann Neethling from the Prue Leith Culinary Institute in Pretoria. Hot on his heels in 2nd place was Leroy Mguni (HTA  School of Culinary Art), followed  by Jerome Sadiq (Capsicum Culinary Studio) in 3rd place, Oratile Ramutloa (International Hotel School) in 4th place and Karabo Mahoko (Capsicum Culinary Studio) in 5th place.

“Each finalist’s recipe had a certain magic to it and all the judges were massively impressed with the quality of the entries,” commented Senior SACA Competition Judge, Stuart McClarty. “The unique way in which each finalist added the magic of mushrooms to their  favourite everyday recipe really illustrated the ability of every day versatile mushrooms to magically take an ordinary dish to a gourmet Michelin star creation! It also showcased the wonderful talent of each finalist”

We also know that each of our finalists are winners in their own right and we look forward to watching them achieving further success in their careers in South Africa’s hospitality industry.  “With such talent, concluded Richardson, “South Africa’s restaurants are in for extraordinary culinary treats!”

In addition to the accolades on the day the top three young chefs also walked away with magnificent cash prizes to the total value of R20000!

Photography by Jeremy Glyn for SAMFA/RGC in August 2020.

Gina McLoughlin

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