Unilever Food Solutions Chef of the Year Crowned

On Wednesday 5 September, after a thrilling final, Unilever Food Solutions crowned their 2018 Chef of the Year winners. Held in five categories – Senior, Junior, Team of 4, High Tea and Rise Up – the Unilever Food Solutions Chef of the Year is the oldest culinary competition in South Africa, and in its 40 year history has provided many Chefs with the recognition they need to take their careers to the next level.

It was an exceptional experience. Every year, the competition just gets stronger and stronger. The talent I saw today blew me away. It’s really exciting to see what we as a country can offer, and to see future stars start to shine. The high standards showcased today prove that South African chefs can compete on a global level. Well done to all the competitors. – Senior judge Jackie Cameron, from the Jackie Cameron School of Food and Wine.

So, who walked away with the titles?

  • Senior – Juan Neethling from the Southern Sun Waterfront (Cape Town)
  • Junior – Josh Utah Green from 1000 Hills Chef School (Durban)
  • Team of 4 – Laduma Caterers (Cape Town)
  • High Tea – Oyster Box (Durban)

Rise Up – Tapiwa Munyawiri (Johannesburg)

 My philosophy is cook with passion or not at all. That’s why today was such a good one – these young chefs cooked with huge passion, and it came through in the food they produced. It’s exciting to see the creativity, passion and work ethic displayed here today. It’s chefs like these who will evolve the culinary landscape in South Africa. – Head Judge Tony Kocke, Executive Chef at Fairmont Zimbali Resort.

Here are a few pics of the winning dishes! For the full scoop on the day’s events, visit Unilver Food Solutions.

Junior winner, Josh Utah Green’s incredible main course of lamb loin with pork tortellini


A knockout main course of grilled ostrich fillet from Senior winner, Juan Neethling.
He rose to the occasion and produced a stellar meal that won him the title and a permanent job! How gorgeous is this seared beef fillet from Tapiwa Munyawiri, the Rise Up champion?


Laduma Caterers won the Team of 4 title with this pan seared beef fillet and seasonal veg.


It’s tea time! This is the High Tea that won Team Oyster Box the coveted High Tea title!



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