The Table Bay’s entrants to the 2019 Distell Inter Hotel Challenge…

The Table Bay Hotel, workplace of four contestants in The 2019 Distell Inter Hotel Challenge

The 2019 Distell Inter Hotel Challenge is a bit like the Oscars of the Hospitality Industry in South Africa. On Monday I was guest speaker at the Johannesburg Orientation Day for the participants. What an exciting day! The speakers offered so much advice and product knowledge to the participants.

The Table Bay Hotel on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront has four participants. One of them are Jonathan Wakefield, a Sommelier and a Food and Beverage Supervisor at Sun International’s five-star hotel at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, who says

Jonathan Wakefield, a Sommelier and a Food & Beverage Supervisor at The Table Bay Hotel

“It’s a huge honour to even to be considered for the competition. The level of competition has always been exceptionally high so I’m looking forward to seeing how I stack up against the rest of the participants.  Just to be part of it is a great source of motivation for me. It will also be a great networking opportunity to interact with people in the industry.” He also added, “I also like to keep my eye on new trends in the industry. Competition is stiff in the tourism industry. It is important to stay abreast of trends.”  Jonathan Wakefield is 29 years old and has been married for almost a year. Being the youngest of five children, he comes from a big family and prioritises spending time with his loved ones. He will be mentored on the wine and spirits pairing aspects by Heinrich La Meyer his Assistant Food and Beverage Manager during the 2019 Distell Inter Hotel Challenge.

The Table Bay Sous Chef, Kurt de Wet

One of the other participants is newly appointed Sous Chef, Kurt de Wet.  He says he feels honoured and nervous to be participating in the prestigious competition which is dubbed as the “hotel Oscars”. The multi-faceted challenge, sponsored by Distell Fine Wines, is a respected platform for highlighting the talent and expertise of trainees, and giving them an opportunity to shine. Kurt says, “I am also very excited to have the chance to compete against some of the very best aspiring chefs from across South Africa. It is a great opportunity to test my abilities and network with likeminded people. If I win this competition, it will certainly help to put my name on the map.” Kurt was born and raised in Cape Town and describes himself as an innovative chef who loves to experiment with ingredients and flavours. Kurt will be mentored on the food aspects by Keshan Rambarun during the 2019 Distell Inter Hotel Challenge.

I certainly hope that I will see more of them as they work their way through the months ahead until the announcements are made in August.

Read more about The Table Bay Hotel – CLICK HERE

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