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Global Pizza Challenge cook-offs offer innovative pizza recipes!

March 15, 2010

The Hostex took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 8 to 10 March 2010, and saw the 2010 Global Pizza Challenge South Africa cook-offs take place to plenty of fanfare and enjoyment!

Neil Jewell from Bread and Wine in Franschoek stole the show with his Aubergine and Confit Karoo Lamb with Buchu pizza. He walked off with first place, as well as the title of 2010 Global Pizza Challenge South Africa Champion. He is now set to travel to Melbourne in Australia to represent southern Africa in the international competition.

Tammy Henton from the Piccolo Mondo at Michelangelo Hotel walked away with R10 000 for her winning creation in the specialised Peppadew® Pizza category of Slow Cooked Duck, Sweet Potato Crisps and Peppadew® Dressing.

There were over 70 entry recipes in the competition this year, and, under the auspices of the South Africa Chefs Association (SACA), a panel of accomplished chefs judged the entries for originality, balance, creativity and excitement. Twenty finalists were selected to move forward to the next round.

Every finalist produced four pizzas: two for the judges and two for the supporting crowds. Supporters voluntarily “paid” for slices by donating to the Uitsig (Animal) Rescue Centre, this year’s chosen charity. The collection box was filled with R1 300, which are to be put towards Uitsig’s Mobile Sterilisation Unit.

It was Cape Town’s turn to produce a knock-out pizza recipe this year, and there is tougher international competition, since more countries are entering the race. According to Chef Martin Kobald, Honourary President of SACA, in this year’s event, pizza is also to be tossed in the air in Singapore, Shanghai, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Melbourne, Sydney, Dubai, Windhoek and Auckland. The event took place in Ho Chi Minh in December 2009, and Singapore follows South Africa in April 2010.

The competition was founded in 1999 by Glenn Austin, an Australian chef. It was founded as an Australian cookery concept to promote the fastest growing fast food group in the world. Since it was launched, it has spread to Africa and Asia and is recognised as a challenge to chefs to use their imaginations beyond cheese and tomato.

Kobald adds, “What is tremendous about this competition is that South African chefs are offered the opportunity to compete against countries and flavours that they would not normally experience. We feel sure that sooner rather than later, South Africa will bring home the main prize, simply because we love to experiment and try out new culinary ideas”.

This is the second time that South Africa held the challenge, which is in partnership with global dairy company Clover Fonterra and equipment sponsor Prenox. The competition calls for participation from any local individual pizza makers, whether representing a stand-along pizzeria, restaurant, take-away outlet, hotel or suburban hotspot or from the home enthusiast.

The Global Pizza Challenge this year again received the support of the 94.7 Highveld Stereo Rude Awakening team and the Mimmos Italian restaurant franchise, with the creation of the RAW Pizza by Jeremy Mansfield, the popular DJ personality. The RAW Pizza is available in select Mimmos outlets in Gauteng for four weeks and a percentage of the proceeds raised are donated to Food4Africa, a feeding scheme supporting hungry children.

Take a look at the festivities at last year’s competition on YouTube. For more information, visit Global Pizza Challenge.

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