Vusumuzi Ndlovu is the Winner of the Africa and the Middle-East Regional Final

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Following a day of outstanding performances from 10 talented chefs from Africa and the Middle-East, chef Vusumuzi Ndlovu from The Saxon Hotel Villas and SPA in Johannesburg was crowned winner

The sous chef from South Africa will now advance to the Grand Finale in May 2018 in Milan, Italy where he will represent the region on the international stage.

The local cooking competition took place on 16 October 2017 at The International Centre for Culinary Arts, a world-class culinary training centre in Dubai. 

A distinguished trio of chefs – Sascha Triemer, Marthinus Ferreira (mentor) and Dominique Grel representing Dubai, South Africa and Mauritius respectively – were on hand to taste and evaluate each of the semi-finalists’ prepared signature dishes and to give a final judgement according to the five ‘Golden Rules’: 

  • ingredients
  • skill
  • genius
  • beauty and 
  • message.  

Despite stiff competition from the nine other regional semi-finalists, all hand selected by ALMA, Italy’s leading culinary school, it was Ndlovu’s signature dish entitled ‘Isicupho’ that stood out from the crowd.

“Congratulations to chef Vusumuzi on representing the region at the final event, and to the semi-finalists who competed with exceptional attributes,” commented jury member Sascha Triemer from Atlantis, The Palm. “We are pleased to see fierce competition put up by the semifinalists. 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,” he went on to add.

Chef Vusumuzi Ndlovu will continue his journey with a professional chef mentor by his side, helping him to hone and perfect his dish in the months ahead. In June of next year the duo will travel to Milan, Italy together to represent the Africa and Middle East region on the world stage.

At the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Grand Finale, Ndlovu will finally get the chance to face off against 20 other global finalists, all under the watchful eye of the Seven Sages, the panel of esteemed world-famous chefs who will ultimately decide who is the next best young chef in the world, following in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Mitch Lienhard.