For the first time a vegetarian pizza has won the South African leg of the Global Pizza Challenge, Colin du Plessis from the Lady Grey restaurant in McGregor having been named as the local winner at Hostex at the Cape Town International Convention Centre last week. He has won cash, as well as a trip to Melbourne in March next year, to participate in the Global Pizza Challenge, being one of 16 international finalists from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Namibia, Italy, UAE, and Thailand.
Pizza makers from around the country, working in restaurants, stand-alone pizzerias, takeaway outlets, and hotels sent in their pizza recipes. A panel of internationally-recognised chefs evaluated the entries, and judged them on originality, balance, creativity, as well as their ‘excitement factor’. The finalists were selected on the basis of their recipes, and the top 30 were invited to prepare their pizzas in a three-day cook-off held on the Global Pizza Challenge stand at Hostex. Pizza lovers could enter in one of five categories: poultry or meat, seafood, vegetarian, speciality, and dessert. Colin’s winning pizza is named ‘Mary Queen of Scots’, reflecting the Scottish theme of his Lord’s Guest Lodge, Continue reading →
On Thursday evening I attended the launch of the South African leg of the Global Pizza Challenge, a project which belongs to Chef Arnold Tanzer from Johannesburg and Martin Kobald from Australia. South African pizza makers have done well in the past seven years of the competition.
I almost did not make the function, which was held at the offices of Dish Food & Social, giving us a street address of 423 Main Road in Observatory. A building marked 423a on one side of a Shell garage was visible, but not the street number on Main Road that we were searching for in the near dark, which turned out to be on the other side of the petrol station. To complicate matters the entrance gate is in a side road off Main Road! Having survived the panic of finding the venue, it was great to catch up with Chef Arnold, whom I had met last year on a Media Day for MasterChef SA Season 2 at Nederburg.
Before we got into pizzas, we caught up about Season 3 of MasterChef SA, which is being filmed at the moment and will continue until June. The series will be broadcast from August onwards. Chef Arnold did not answer all my questions, such as if there would be two broadcasts per week again as in Season 2. He would not discuss how strict new MasterChef SA judge Reuben Robertsons Riffel is with the contestants, given that he may not want to rock the boat! We talked about the very honest and harsh review by Chef Arnold of Aarya, the Montecasino restaurant, the use of which Deena Naidoo won for a two year period in winning MasterChef SA Season 1. We chatted about how low key Season 2 winner Kamini Pather is, not being visible,and not (yet) having created her planned food communication channel, as she announced when she won. As before, there will be guest chefs. Continue reading →