Exciting Thymes Ahead!

Chef Dean Jones' design for the San Pellegrino Young Chef Competition

Exciting Thymes Ahead! Chef Dean Jones' design for San Pellegrino Young Chef competition

The heat is on as applications for the next San Pellegrino Young Chef competition open. Once again, Chef Dean Jones of The Elephant Camp will be throwing his toque into the ring with a culinary creation that celebrates Africa, her elephants, and environmental harmony that allows us to share the Earth with these magnificent creatures.

The purpose of the San Pellegrino Young Chef initiative “is to support the principles of the culture of good food around the world, through a project that aims at identifying talented young chefs to celebrate their talent and encourage their professional growth.” It recognises chefs below the age of 30 who have made a big impression on the culinary world. The last competition attracted over 3000 applicants, and Chef Jones cooked his way through to the Semi Finals, before he was forced to withdraw due to VISA complications. Over the course of the contest, 70 top chefs will be involved as jurors in the local competitions, 21 young chefs from 21 different geographic areas will be selected as semi-finalists and 21 chef mentors will be assigned to the young chefs to provide guidance throughout their journeys. The competition is judged by the “Seven Sages”, a distinguished panel of judges that comprises of celebrated culinary masters, who will sample and survey the dishes before selecting San Pellegrino Young Chef winner of 2018.

The world is split into 21 regions, Chef Jones region being Africa and the Middle East. With his application already in the mix, he eagerly awaits 1 June to find out if he is one of the 10 semi-finalists of his region, which we all brie-live he will be! The ten semi-finalists of each region then go to Dubai between July and December to compete for a place in the Finals.

To get him there, Chef Jones has designed a delectable dish comprising of smoked warthog, broccoli puree, trees and moss, fermented butternut, sadza croquettes, and a sweet and sour chakalaka relish. This spread tells a story, and the careful balance of ingredients speaks to the delicate balance of nature. “The Green Footprint” is a gentle and delicious reminder of the importance of conservation efforts by every industry and within every walk of life. Working for Wild Horizons, a company driven by eco-friendly activities and devote conservationists, and sharing a patch of Earth with Africa’s gentle giants, inspired Chef Jones dish, which will in turn, inspire many fine-diners.

Written by Jess White

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