The One&Only Reaching for Young Stars has been launched for the seventh consecutive year. 11 of the Cape’s top culinary academies have put forward their finest young stars to compete for top honours in what has become a unique initiative in support of South Africa’s hospitality industry.

Tuesday 19th September marked the main event as the competitors squared up in a high-energy “Cook-Off”, hosted at Capsicum Culinary Studio, Cape Town. The young candidates, representing 11 academies have teamed up with 11 top hotels to add the final polish. 11 wineries are paired with their creative menus using Certified Karoo Lamb, Witlof, Bio-Wheat, Lancewood, Rio Largo olive oil, Khoisan sea salt with La Vie de Luc and Avanti coffee – all providing tastes from a South African table.

A panel of 11 top ‘Food & Wine’ luminaries in the hospitality industry were led by chief judge Reuben Riffel who judged the Cook-Off with Aubrey Ngcungama, Carolyn Miller-Krogh, Craig Hibbert, Horst Frehse, Julietta é Silva, Luvo Ntezo, Marieta Human, Mariëtte Crafford, Marlvin Gwese and Penelope Horwood.

Each culinary academy put forward some of their most talented and promising students in a well structured competition that not only draws the royalty of our hospitality world together but provides a platform for our Executive chefs, cooks, patisiers, bakers, winemakers, wine stewards and sommeliers joining together ultimately resulting in the discovery and growing of the South African stars of tomorrow.

The competing academies include: The Private Hotel School (teamed with Radisson Blu Waterfront and Boschendal); Eziko Cooking & Training Centre (Cape Grace and Hill&Dale); The Hurst Campus (Marriott Crystal Towers & Neethlingshof); The Imibala Cookery Kitchen (NH The Lord Charles and Anthonij Rupert Wyne); International Hotel School (Belmond Mount Nelson and Bellingham); Capsicum Culinary Studio (Southern Sun Waterfront and Krone); Silwood School of Cookery (The Westin & Spier Wines); Cape Town Hotel School (Southern Sun Cape Sun & Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards); Infinity Culinary Training (The Vineyard Hotel and Douglas Green Sherry); Amy Foundation (The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and Linton Park) and Sense of Taste Chef School (Sun International Table Bay and Reyneke Organic Wines).

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Partners of Showcook, Annette Kesler and Chania Morritt-Smith, the high-energy organisers and founders of both the One&Only Reaching for Young Stars competition and the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge programme, believe it is essential to build platforms that will provide opportunities that encourage hotels, restaurants and other members of the hospitality industry to nurture young talent and carry the banner further.

“The hotel industry is the heartbeat of tourism,” says Kesler. “It is essential that we maintain the high standards however we have to make sure those same high standards are maintained going into the future. In order to ensure that, we need to have a strong and sustained skills and upliftment programme where our young talent are mentored and given the opportunity to grow.”

The Awards event is hosted at One&Only Cape Town where General Manager Richard Lyon says, “We are proud to be involved in the Young Stars as the competition highlights training and mentorship. One&Only is committed to excellence and the raising of standards in the increasingly valuable hospitality industry. We are delighted to support these young bakers, aspirant chefs and wine stewards in their vital careers going forward.”

Meaningful prizes include enviable kitchenware from KitchenAid Africa.

Scanpan and the finest of Global knives from AL&CD Ashley.

A five-month superb working experience for four chefs in Cape Cod, Massachusetts at Winslow’s Tavern, a top heritage restaurant in an historic Federalist building in scenic Wellfleet with fellow South Africans, Chef Patron Phillip & Tracey Hunt. The 170 seat restaurant – highly esteemed by food and travel guides; Trip Advisor, Fodor’s and Frommer’s, is staffed by an international brigade of highly skilled chefs who thrive on collaboration, camaraderie, fast pace and high volume producing an all American seasonal menu heavily influenced by coastal cuisines.

Two weeks working experience with Reuben Riffel at his new restaurant Reuben’s Restaurant & Bar in Franschhoek

A three weeks stint with Scot Kirton and James Gaag at La Colombe and La Petite Colombe, gaining insight into running a world class restaurant and having fun being creative and expressing yourself as a chef!

Memorable stayovers and fabulous moments from One&Only
A weekend for two at Corbelled House on the farm, Stuurmansfontein in the Karoo – under the stars!

Books for life from Penguin Random House

The coveted Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2018

The last word in delectable prizes: Von Geusau Chocolates


In the Chef Category:

Bio-Wheat Best Baker

  • Winner – Brode Gleeson from Silwood School of Cookery
  • 2nd Place – Lorna Mnisi from Eziko Cooking & Training Centre
  • 3rd Place – Wendy Chiringa from Sense of Taste Chef School

Duo of Chefs

  • Winner – Rebecca Odendaal & Nicola Swart from The Hurst Campus
  • 2nd Place – Kristin Reagon & Jarryd Macleod Smith from The Sense of Taste Chef School
  • 3rd Place – Tsoanelo Mosia & Layla Morris from The Private Hotel School


  • Best Witlof Starter – Rebecca Odendaal & Nicola Swart from The Hurst Campus
  • Best Main Course with Certified Karoo Lamb – Kristin Reagon & Jarryd Macleod Smith from The Sense of Taste Chef School
  • Lancewood Best Dessert – Cerise Petersen & Kaylin Kammies from Capsicum Culinary Studio
  • ScanPan Best Kitchen Practice – Cerise Petersen & Kaylin Kammies from Capsicum Culinary Studio


Team Award:

Food & Wine Pairing

  • Winner – Charlton de Ruiter & Dae-Myung Kim from Silwood School of Cookery with winemaker Johan Jordaan of Spier Wines
  • 2nd Place – Rebecca Odendaal & Nicola Swart from The Hurst Campus with Wine Steward Luvuyo Tshazibane and winemaker DeWet Viljoen of Neethlingshof
  • 3rd Place – Cerise Petersen & Kaylin Kammies from Capsicum Culinary Studio with Wine Steward Carlos Picarra from the International Hotel School and winemaker Stephen de Beer of Krone

In the Wine Steward Category:

  • Winner – Bianca Schonauer from The Private Hotel School with Boschendal
  • Lanel Marais from The Private Hotel School with DGB Sherry
  • Carlos Picarra from the International Hotel School with Krone