Vosloorus tavern chef Moud Kgomo gave a stirring performance to create an exquisite dish dubbed “Jack of all Trades” as she walked away with top honours in the Mzansi Tavern Chef Grand Final at the Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl today.
Kgomo wowed the judges with her creation featuring four meats, creamy samp and dumplings, showing excellent technique, balanced flavours and textures, as well as fine attention to detail in her presentation.
She saw off a fierce challenge from rival champion tavern chefs from four provinces to clinch the national title and a R100 000 tavern makeover that will upgrade her tavern’s food-serving offering.
The Mzansi Tavern Chef competition is a partnership between HEINEKEN Beverages, the National Liquor Traders and Nederburg Wines, with the aim of promoting food serving in taverns as a way of moderating alcohol consumption and combating binge drinking.
Eating while consuming alcohol helps to reduce the likelihood of drinking to excess and becoming intoxicated. Serving food also diversifies the outlet’s revenue streams, creating a more sustainable business and growing employment.
“We are proud to support this competition as a key element in our Brew a Better World strategy to promote a culture of responsible alcohol consumption while also contributing to township economic development and livelihoods,” said Millicent Maroga, Corporate Affairs Director of HEINEKEN Beverages.
“Serving food in the tavern contributes to a more sociable environment and helps to regulate how much patrons drink, as well as helping to prevent intoxication. It’s a simple, but practical way of building a culture of responsible consumption. “We hope this competition inspires many more tavern chefs around the country to sharpen their skills and dream big about where their talent can take them.”
The 33-year-old Kgomo was full of emotion as she was named the winner by the judges – master chefs Pete Goffe-Wood and Bennie Masekwameng, along with CEO of the Drinks Federation of South Africa, Angela Russell.
Kgomo learnt her art from her grandmother, who also started the Bafokeng Tavern in Vosloorus as a family business. Kgomo initially saw cooking as a hobby, but said after the win, “look where it got me!”Her ambition is to grow the food business at the tavern and “introduce new dishes and flavours to my customers”.
Kgomo’s dish was up against a spaghetti from Eastern Cape rival Mandisi Dlokolo, Durban-style sheep trotters from KwaZulu-Natal’s Bongiwe Shange, tripe from the Northern provinces’ Pebetse Molefi and tripe with samp and beans from Western Cape chef Grace Telana.
Goffe-Wood said the standard of cooking throughout the competition, which kicked off in the Western Cape in February, had shown the wealth of untapped talent in the tavern environment. “Bennie and I have absolutely loved the experience of travelling to five provinces to taste authentic township cuisine in the places where it is served and hearing some of the extraordinary life stories of these chefs,” he said.
“Moud is a thoroughly deserving winner who personifies the proud spirit and wonderful cooking traditions of her community.”
Jackie Olivier of Nederburg Wines said the brand was proud to support the Tavern Chef competition.
“As one of the country’s most known and awarded wine brands, deeply entrenched in South African wine and food culture, Nederburg is a passionate advocate of local flavours as well as the responsible consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages.
“We’re so excited by the interesting food the Tavern Chef participants have dreamt up to serve in their taverns! We have been inspired by their culinary creations as we continue on our Taste, Learn and Discover journey, enabling our valued consumers to get to know our range of delicious wines and how well they pair with a wide range of local South African flavours,” said Olivier.