Friday, February 22, 2019

#FEAST: S.Pellegrino Launches the 4th Edition of the Young Chef Awards

On February 4th, 2019, S.Pellegrino opened the applications to the 4th Edition of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Awards. The international culinary competition celebrates the transformative power of gastronomy and the next generation chefs who, essentially, pioneer this movement.

“This landmark fourth edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef represents the genuine commitment of S.Pellegrino to continue developing an initiative that truly nurtures the future of gastronomy,” says Stefano Marini, Director of Sanpellegrino International Business Unit. “Indeed, we are committed to support the international gastronomy community by nesting, discovering and promoting the next generation of culinary talent, enabling them to demonstrate their personal belief leveraging the transformative power of gastronomy.”

There are four award categories for this culinary competition. These awards will give a voice and will be a platform for different young chefs, recognising their varied beliefs and approaches to the way gastronomy can play a role in transforming society. The four awards are as follows:

Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thoughts Award: Voted for by the online Fine Dining Lovers community – this award will be for the young chef who best represents his/her personal belief within his/her dish.

S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility: Voted for by an internationally recognised voice on Sustainability in food – this dish will represent the principle that food is best when it’s the result of social responsibility practices.
Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy: Voted for by mentors who represent 50 countries around the world – the winning dish will be the one that reflects a connection between different cultures on the plate, celebrating a global approach to gastronomy.

And finally, the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Award: Voted for by the esteemed panel of Seven Sages – this winning chef must demonstrate unrivaled technical skills as well as genuine creativity. He/she will have also displayed a strong personal belief about Gastronomy, that will convince the Jury about his/her ability to become a catalyst for positive change.

To give hopefuls a bit more context, we briefly caught last year’s winner, Chef Vusi Ndlovu, to give us some insight as to what can be expected from the competition and the chefs who enter the challenge.

Why should young chefs enter the S.Pellegrino Young Chefs awards? 

S.Pellegrino has created an amazing platform for young chefs with the S.Pellegrino Young Chef awards competition. It’ll really drive you to levels you couldn’t imagine you reach in terms of creativity. The learning experience is also something important – you look at food in a different light. Not just that, you also make friends along the way – friends for life. Besides, I think it’s important to have a few like-minded people in your network.

What are some of your tips for compiling entries? 

Above everything, entrants should be honest to themselves and try not to imitate other people because it shows. Ask yourself “who are you” and really think about what made you start cooking (what started the fire inside you to pursuit this wild yet exciting career), then you’ll see the dishes will fall into place easily.

How is this award beneficial to your career? 

The S.Pellegrino Young Chef award has opened a lot of opportunities that I didn’t think were possible. It gave me the confidence to start expanding my horizons. I’m feeling good in my heart, knowing I’m making the best of every moment, or at least trying!

Chef Vusi won the hearts of the judges with his signature dish, “Isicupho”.

The winners of S.Pellegrino Young Chef’s awards will be presented with the extraordinary opportunity to gain global visibility and a significant professional prestige. The winners will also be invited to take part in several of the S.Pellegrino’s high profile annual events that take place all around the world, including events related to future Young Chef competitions.

Applications for S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2019/20 are open at and will run until April 30th 2019. Follow on and

#SPellegrino #SanPellegrino #SPYoungChef #SPYoungChef2019 #ChefNdlovu #ChefVusi #Culinary #Gastronomy #FEASTposts 

Monday, February 18, 2019

#LIFESTYLE: Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo 2019

NB: This event is not open to persons under the age of 18 years.

Colourama is here and there are plenty of bubbles to celebrate. Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo is back, offering yet another prestigious African luxury event experience at the ever-green Val De Vie Estate in the heart of the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley. Saturday, March 2nd, will see a bevy of beautiful and handsome socialites alike, flock onto the greens.


In its ninth annual splendour, the Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo pays homage to its mother, Madame Clicquot – the Grande Dame of Champagne – who in 1816 developed the first riddling table designed to guarantee a crystal-clear wine and thus enhance the purity of colour of her champagne. Further to that, she produced the first rosè, creating a more intense colour and taste. Thus, 2019’s “Colourama” theme – a celebration of the champagne’s source of creativity and inspiration.


Our hosts for 2019 are the beautiful Nomzamo Mbatha and dapper Mark Bayly. Ms. Mbatha makes a return to the polo field as host. The South African actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees first debuted as a host in 2017. Mark Bayly is best known for presenting the reality competition series, Survivor South Africa, and SAFTA nominated magazine show, All Access. The duo is this year’s dream team, a balance of glamour, energy, experience, and popularity, appealing to a diverse local and international guest list.


Getting dressed up for the polo tends to sound like an exhausting experience, when in fact, it’s rather simple. Start by considering your take on casual chic / smart-casual. Then, possibly move your thoughts a level up: Think garden party, premium daywear, perhaps even formal linen wear. Once you’ve managed to conjure a look or two together, apply some colour dynamics to it. Look at sunburst yellows, blush-pinks, summer blue skies, ivory, and even valley greens. The idea is to add life and delight with the colour and block it in a comfortable manner for a full day of action-packed horse polo and sun-kissed bubbly drinking.

Veuve Clicquot VIP: R4300 per person* 

Clicquot Garden: R1300 per person*

Clicquot Picnic: R380 per person*


The Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo promises to be a day well-spent and one to remember. So get prepped, secure your polo chic ensemble and get ready to mix and mingle with crème-de-la-crème.

#VCMastersPolo #VCMP #VCMastersPolo2019 #Fashion #Style #Polo #ValDeVie #VeuveClicquot #Menswear #MensStyle #AfricanLuxury #ImprintZA

Monday, February 11, 2019

#FEATURE: Menswear In Africa – Bold, Brave and Patriotic

An original piece by Lauren Hartzenberg.

Menswear is a slightly smaller category than womenswear, with population demographics being one of the reasons for this as well as the fact that women tend to buy clothing more frequently than men. But the segment has gained ground over the last decade. The South African market alone has been forecast to reach R41 billion in value in 2021, driven by a growing interest among men in their appearance and personal grooming. African fashion is seeing growing recognition abroad, and menswear, in particular, has become bolder, more expressive and less restricted by social norms.

A handful of industry mavens unpacked the trends driving the business of men’s fashion during a panel discussion hosted by fashion blog Renaissance Men SA at the South African Menswear Week (SAMW) held in Cape Town earlier this month. The Fashion Talks segment looked at the current state of menswear in SA and the greater African continent, and the opportunities and challenges impacting its growth.

Celebrating African heritage

Jason Storey, founder, and CEO of clothing brand Unknown Union proclaimed that fashion in Africa is verging on revolutionary. 

“The African renaissance is upon us. Right now, I think the world is turning its energy and its gaze towards this continent. Walking through the streets, seeing the way people are styling themselves and viewing the designers' work I see limitless creativity, I see fresh interpretations of things, and I see a daring approach to fashion with audacity and boldness that is particular to this space.”

Another panelist, creative director and designer of House of St Luke, Mxolisi Mkhize, noted the shift away from the idolizing of European fashion to an embracing of local heritage. He spoke of a time growing up when Italian fashion was coveted and considered superior to locally-made apparel. But this mindset is changing.

“People are embracing their African cultures and traditions. Being different has become exciting and I believe that in terms of design we’re competing on a global level,” Mkhize said.

Gilmore Moyo, a Zimbabwean social entrepreneur, and PR consultant echoed these sentiments. “In Africa, I think we're beginning to find ourselves more, but I think we need to find even more inspiration from each other and not look to Europe or Asia. We're seeing more fashion inspired by African roots and backgrounds and we’re beginning to realize that we need to take our expression to the world.”

While African fashion may be enjoying growing exposure globally, one could argue that talent and ingenuity have always existed here. “Look at how our ancestors covered themselves in jewellery and beadwork. African fashion has always been on the cutting edge; it was just never celebrated,” said Seth Shezi, a local PR consultant, writer, and lifestyle brand strategist. 

He believes that what’s changed is that people have gained confidence. “People are realizing that who they are and how they feel they want to express themselves is enough. It doesn't need verification. And that confidence is highlighting creativity that’s always been there.” 

Breaking gender stereotypes

Less bound to the rigid gender roles of the past, fashion too is moving into a more gender fluid space. “There are fewer stores now that have separate men's and women's fitting rooms, and many are mixing men's and women's clothing in the same department,” said Anuell Ahmar, editor-in-chief and executive director at online magazine Style Me Strauss.

“I visit a store and I find myself purchasing items from the ladies’ section because there are specific garments that I’m drawn to.

“As a South African market, we are pushing boundaries and moving towards a genderless state where men and women are realizing that they don’t have to conform to a style that has been imposed on them by societal norms years prior. We are starting to find our individuality and identity as individuals," Ahmar said.

Similarly, Moyo said that current men’s fashion is reflecting a time in history when women controlled the motherland. “I'm seeing softer fabrics used in menswear and skirts for men are appearing on the runway. When we go back to the origin of our continent women ran households are they’re the ones inspiring fashion.”

Becoming globally competitive

While the panel’s attitude towards the state of local fashion from a design perspective was a positive one, the discussion around the effects of cheap Chinese imports on the local production sector was less optimistic. 

Deliberating on whether SA’s manufacturing sector stands a competitive chance in producing clothing not just for the local market but for the rest of the globe, many felt that the bulk of responsibility lies at a government level. 

But Storey urged local designers to tap into the technical expertise that is lying dormant since the thriving days of SA’s clothing production sector, a time when Cape Town specifically served as a manufacturing hub for a number of global fashion houses.

“The individuals who trained and worked under those experts are still here. They're still alive today. And my experience here has been that when you find somebody who can do really amazing work, they tend to be 50 years old and over.” 

He cautioned: “We need to act quickly, whether in the public or private space. The window of opportunity is closing quickly. Once those individuals are gone that expertise is no longer here.”

Shezi, meanwhile, highlighted the power of social media in influencing perception around the style and design that exists within the African continent, especially among Millennials and Gen Xers.

“In terms of access, social media manages to catapult or be a catchment for what magazines can’t do. While the print magazine industry is busy dying, social media is there to amplify whatever the young generation is doing,” he said.

Referencing the Afropunk festival in Joburg, which gathered a crowd of bold, fashion-forward attendees visibly inspired by their African roots, Shezi noted that social media coverage of the event helped showcase their creative expression.

“For kids at that age to be able to feel confident and express themselves to that level is relatively new for us, and it's adding to this pot that is very fertile at the moment for African fashion. It's a good space to be in and I just hope that everyone sees that and harnesses it.”

Access Lauren Hartzenberg’s original article on Bizcommunity, here.

#Feature #Menswear #AfricanLuxury #MensStyle #MensFashion