On Monday night we were treated to a glimpse into our culinary future.

Picture this: the top nine chefs under the age of 30 from Africa and the Middle East, sharpening knives, firing up the range and cooking their hearts out to make it through to the finals of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef competition. The winning chef on the night would be heading to Milan in June to compete against 19 other young chefs from across the globe for the title of Young Chef 2015.

Of the nine regional semi-finalists, seven were from SA, and four of those from Cape Town – including the winner.

Congrats Angelo Scirocco, sous chef at Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen under the excellent mentorship of Liam Tomlin.

Angelo’s inspired dessert, ‘Milk is Thicker Than Water’, was a beautiful combination of elderflower panna cotta, strachiatella mozzarella, vanilla and cardamom rice pudding, buttermilk ice cream and meringue shards. Not only did he win over the judging panel, Angelo also took home the informal People’s Choice award tallied from the evening’s diners.


Milk is Thicker Than Water
Milk is Thicker Than Water – the winning recipe, by Angelo Scirocco


Second place went to Rahil Rathod of Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek-Boulvar for his Tribute to Local Lamb, with lamb loin, shoulder, rack and sweetbreads.

A very deserving third place was awarded to Vusumuzi Ndlovu of Five Hundred at The Saxon Boutique Hotel. His Angus beef with oysters and charred asparagus was, for me, the best savoury offering of the day, a surprising and piquant dish I could happily have had another serving of.

Another favourite of mine was Darren Badenhorst‘s Parma-wrapped, slow-cooked rabbit with palm sugar Szechuan rabbit liver bruleé, while Katlego Mlambo (Rust en Vrede) impressed with his Cape Coast Rock Pool, a ‘South African seaside story’ of sea lettuce, mussels, kob, tuna and octopus.

Congrats to all the semi-finalists, and good luck in June Angelo – bring it home buddy!

A selection of the semi-finalists’ dishes – quite something for a Monday


Photography Jade Cooke, courtesy




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