Once again I was honored to be invited to this years Good Food & Wine Show Township Cook Off If you have no idea where the hashtag #DuringLunch comes from I suggest that you click on the above link! A small joke shared by my fellow writers and I from last years event, hosted in Umlazi!
Once again, Durban Tourism rose to the occasion being one of the Platinum Sponsors of the Good Food & Wine Show, and bought together some of Durban’s, lifestyle, and event media, including the local press and a few well known photographers.
This year we traveled to the Chesterville area, one may describe it as a township or rather known for the Cafe Skyzer, which is one of Durban’s Top Shisa N’yama venues. A brilliant treat for those of us visiting for the first time, and a good visit back for those who had been to the venue before.
We were escorted from the Durban Tourism office by the Durban Tourism City Fleet bus. Quite the start to the adventure we were about to set on. I have said this once before and I will say it again, it is always amazing when you finally meet the people that you have made friends with on social media in person.
Sometimes you don’t quite know what to expect and other times you can spot each other from across the room! I was pleased to say that we had a few familiar faces and quite a few new ones, including my business partner Al Nicoll who was experiencing the Township Cookout prelude to the main event for the first time. There were of course a few faces that we did not see this year, sadly one of those included a good friend of mine Candy Marrow, also know as Candy_Vanityboxed!
Candy, while you were missed, I must say I “may have” dropped the #DuringLunch tag a couple of times. 🙂
Once we arrived at the venue, we were greeted by the friendly and almost family like staff of Durban Tourism. Unfortunately as soon as we arrived so did #DurbanSummer!
And my oh my did it arrive in style! The chefs all handled the heat, AND cooking under the heat may I add, in true style. The Giggling Gourmet was her usual self, giving the crowd all the love she holds within her heart and of course “spicing” up the experience with her naughty jokes and giggles. Let me tell you, while I was sitting in the one corner that had a palm tree of shade, I giggled myself silly!
“Jenny, you are an amazing chef and an even better person, just radiating, love, power and strength. It is always a good morning to wake up to your tweets”.
The event hosted every year by the tourism department in conjunction with the Good Food and Wine Show organizers allow’s for people to interact one on one with their favorite “celeb” chefs in a relaxed environment. Just as you see them on TV, they are in person.
I must admit it was my first time meeting several of this years celeb chef’s and judges, and as always with any event I was very surprised and intrigued. There were three cook off’s during our afternoon, with Short Chef, Skinny Chef being the first on stage. We know and are quite familiar with Siphokazi from last years event, but it was brilliant to have her business partner and ex roommate, MasterChefSA contestant Claire Allen join us this year.
“And of course, there were laughs to be had, as Siphokazi is not know as the “short chef” for no reason”. Once a foot stool was found, and a few giggles has by both the crowd and Chef herself, the afternoon was under way.”
Each year as explained by the chef’s who took the stage next, this event is hosted in the Township to bring awareness, healthy cooking education and of course an event for everyone to enjoy, in places that aren’t in the center of our city. In a way it is a chance for people who never visit their surrounding area’s to experience a whole new side of their city, together. I do encourage those who have not been on the city and township tours to do so, it’s a great way to see your city, and experience a side of Durban that not many people know about.
Something I did notice during our afternoon was that many of chef’s would refer to themselves as “TV CHEFS” or “NOT TV CHEFS”. With Capetown being the home base for most of Southern Africa’s Top Chef’s there are various parts of the industry that Chef’s can work in or create among themselves, and that gives creative lead for each individual within their passion.
A prime example being both Neil L Anthony and Lentswe who were in attendance and through out the cook off were teasing each other about their different industries. As Lentswe is a “TV Chef” and Neil is a “Private Chef”. Great laughs! I even got to judge their dishes on stage in the end. Funny how this keeps happening as I judged and tasted at last years event too. “Maybe, Cee just likes food? Always a possibility”.
Of course you can imagine with all the food being cooked and demonstrated, lunch time was well received. A delicious Shisa N’yama meal was prepared for all the guests, and refreshments were kept on the go during the entire day. I loved the spicy spinach I had and meat was cooked perfectly.
And not to forget that each year the Good Food & Wine Show along with Durban Tourism invite a group of school children along to their shows, events and even students from the chef schools. It’s a great way for children to learn and a great way for them to see that not only can you have a successful career, but that you CAN come from anywhere, any back round, any family and achieve your dreams!
Just as Karmani Pather discovered, when Jenny Morris, as for a “young, strong man” to help them prepare their meals on stage.
In conclusion, I think everyone had a wonderful time and I know that I am looking forward to next year and the next Township venue. What a wonderful way to start off this years Good Food & Wine Show!
Thank you too everyone involved in making this event happen, each year. And to all the Chef’s who take part.
If you’d like to find out more about the event, simply visit www.goodfoodandwineshow.co.za and find all the live action on the twitter page, or simply search #GFWS2016.
You can find me on all my social media platforms at @CeecesTravel and you can find the brilliant photographer Al Nicoll on his platforms under @AlNicoll.
And As Always….