Response to this year’s South African Avocado Growers’ Association Avocado Recipe Competition was phenomenal, the judging panel was wowed by the winners with inspired creations that looked and tasted great, and got the green tick for good health too.
Nine semi-finalists were chosen from 74 entries submitted by young chefs from the Southern Sun Hotel Group, with three
competitors selected in each category – starter, main course and dessert. All entries had to have avocados as a feature ingredient with independent judges from the SA ChefsAssociation evaluating the dishes on health, taste, presentation and originality.
The semi-finalists in the starter category included Ivy Mokoena, Freedom Khanyile and Fuzile Bene from Quills Inter Continental ORT. Main course contenders were Elias Samboko (Bice Southern Sun Hyde Park), Realan Murugas (Elements Beverly Hills) and Freedom Khanyile – again! Last but not least dessert was served up by Clinton Bonhomme (Lingela Southern Sun Elangeni), Cherry Pin (Continental Restaurant Southern Sun Grayston) and Dhiraj Leela (Sugar Club Beverly Hills).
Following a tense cook-off on April 28th at the University of Johannesburg’s School of Tourism and Hospitality, talented chef from Quills at the Intercontinental OR Tambo, Freedom Khanyile took top honours in both the starter and the main course category, whilst last year’s dessert winner, Clinton Bonhomme from Lingela at Southern Sun, Elangeni, retained his title. They both received generous cash prizes from the South African Avocado Growers’ Association.
All 74 entries were of an extremely high standard and showcased the depth of talent at the hotel group as well as the versatility of avocados, said David van Staden; Southern Sun Hotels brand development chef. “Events such as these provide a valuable opportunity for chefs to test their technical skills, their nerves and their creativity as well as fuel their passion for their craft.
It also provides an important and inspirational platform for growing awareness of this nutritious superfruit – the avocado.”
With recipes such as grilled chicken supreme with avo and dried tomato stuffing, sesame crusted avo custard with basil infused tomato fondue and an avocado scented lemon verbena crème brulee with chocolate brownie, vanilla pannacotta and yoghurt avo and raspberry ice-cream, the humble green fruit is really ‘puttin’ on the (avo) ritz’!