Cooking & Competitiveness
Now acknowledged by the Department of Arts and Culture as an official South African team, the National Culinary Team, a division of the South African Chefs Association and under the leadership of Team Manager Trevor Boyd, are all set for the IKA (International Exhibition of Culinary Art) Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart in 2020, with sights set on more gold! Boyd was part of the National Culinary Team of South Africa that was awarded gold in the competition’s ‘Hot Kitchen’ category in 2008, and has volunteered his time to mentor the country’s most exciting new chefs to bring home the gold in 2020.
Chef Trevor Boyd & The IKA Culinary Olympics
Chef Trevor’s involvement with the Culinary Olympics goes back to his first entry 19 years ago, and being appointed manager of Team South Africa is the culmination of a long-time dream. “It was a proud moment for me to be named the manager of the Culinary Team South Africa. The team has already won bronze, silver and gold medals in the past, and I’ve always been a proud member of the squad. Being called on to now head up the team is much the same as being called on to captain the Springboks,” Boyd says.
Boyd has served as Executive Chef at The Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton for the past two years. However, his passion for good food goes right back to his childhood, when he would spend hours in the kitchen with his mother, helping with food preparation. After being a chef in the army, Boyd went on to study his National Diploma in Catering Management at Wits Technikon Hotel School (now University of Johannesburg School of Tourism & Hospitality).
Chef Trevor has clocked thousands of hours in the kitchen and so have the chefs who will be joining him on the South African team. Team SA will spend two years working on and refining their menus for the Culinary Olympics. According to Chef Trevor, this will ensure that the team runs like a well-oiled machine by the time the knives come out in Stuttgart for the Culinary Olympics.
Time will be of the essence as the team will have just six hours to prepare a three-course meal for 110 people in the hot kitchen section. Not just that, there is also a cold kitchen section where food is judged on its artistry and display. International judges will select the winners, and there is a lot at stake when it comes to winning the gold. Boyd isn’t stopping at coaching a potentially world-leading culinary team – he’s got his heart set on being a competition judge for the 2024 IKA Culinary Olympics.
Dion Vengetass - Belmond Mount Nelson
Straight out of Benoni and an ex alumni of the Swiss Hotel School, Chef Dion Vengetass is no stranger to the IKA Culinary Olympics. In 2016, Chef Vengetass brought home the gold alongside Chef Trevor in the previous Olympics.
Kirstin Helleman - Belmond Mount Nelson
As sous chef with a rich history in pastry, Kirstin Helleman is experienced in both hot and cold kitchen disciplines. After spending two and a half years in the UK, she returned to South Africa to train at the South African Chefs Academy in 2010 under chefs Garth Stroebel and Paul Hartmann.
Henricho Grobler - The Lord Charles Hotel
From polymer engineer to top chef, Henricho Grobler is driven by passion. With a long list of achievements, his successes include winning four Culinary Olympic medals and heading up the South African Culinary Olympic team.
Adrian Vigus-Brown - African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel
Another name to take note of, Adrian Vigus-Brown is a young chef from the East Rand climbing the ranks. Adrian's work can be experienced at the March Restaurant at African Pride Melrose Arch. Adrian is also the chairman of the South African Chefs Association Young Chefs Club.
Chante Rabie - The Saxon Hotel
Cutting teeth at DW Eleven - 13 in 2016, Chante Rabie has grown into one of Johannesburg's best pastry chefs and owns the resumé to prove it. At the time of writing, Chante was back in the kitchen at The Saxon Hotel where she interned in 2017.
Bradley van Niekerk - The Roundhouse & Rumbullion Restaurants
Reporting for line cook duty, Bradley van Niekerk is a young gun the public should be keeping their eye on. As Team Maskhane's Chef de partie, Bradley has had experience in hotel kitchens and is currently a station chef at Camps Bay's famous Roundhouse & Rumbullion.
Oscar Baard - The Lord Charles Hotel
Described by Chef Trevor Boyd as a diamond they found in the rough which had to be polished, Oscar Baard will form part of the pastry wing of Team Masakhane.
We wish Chef Trevor and his team of culinary athletes all the best on their road to victory at the Culinary Olympics in 2020.
By Shawn Greyling