The very last day of autumn – May 2013 – in the heart of Sandton saw key clients and media being treated to a light-hearted and entertaining ‘Chefs Experience’ in the elegantly decorated Committee Room of Sandton Convention Centre (SCC). The enjoyable afternoon was filled with banter and camaraderie, hosted by Tsogo Sun’s group executive chef Benny Masekwameng, group sommelier Miguel Chan and SCC’s Executive Director, Mati Nyazema.Benny Masekwameng took the guests on a tour of the chefs experience, introducing and explaining each dish, dissecting it down to its core and relishing in the flavours and textures created by the SCC’s culinary team, headed up by head chef Peter Mabizela, under the tutelage of Garth Shnier, Executive Chef of Tsogo Sun’s Sandton node. Guests were treated to a decadent concoction of apple juice with Galliano on arrival, followed by a tantalizing pre-starter of quinoa salsa, tomato and goats cheese tartlet, compressed watermelon, balsamic jelly and wasabi pearls coupled with Villiera Monro to set the experience in motion. The gastronomic journey continued with a light starter of salmon strudel, apple celeriac slaw, truffle and lime spume, truffle pearls paired with De Grendel Rosé to compliment the flavours. Next, Benny led the guests’ journey through the main course, a herb crusted beef fillet, king oyster mushroom, corn crème caramel parsnip puree, caramelised parsnip cubes and cocktail tomato confit which was complimented by Jordan Cab Sauv. To finish off the afternoon of culinary indulgence, the Sandton Convention Centre’s culinary team created a decadent dessert featuring deconstructed lemon tart, rhubarb pickles and honeycomb, which was perfectly paired with Simonsig Gewürztraminer to create a flawless end to the ‘Chefs Experience’. During the course of the afternoon, guests had the opportunity to witness the chefs in action at a live cooking station, where Garth and Peter created flambéed bread, which was served as an accompaniment to the pre-starter, and demonstrated the art of preparing the rhubarb pickles for the dessert.
Says Chef Benny, “I love coming to the Sandton Convention Centre for these ‘Chefs Experiences’ and working with the incredibly talented and creative culinary team to demonstrate their capabilities, which rival the finest hospitality establishments in the industry.”It was Virginia Woolf in A Room with a View who cited “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Mati Nyazema notes, “There are very few people who would disagree, and this philosophy is echoed in the fact that Sandton Convention Centre strives to ensure that every gathering hosted within its walls is accompanied by the best possible culinary experience, encouraging an atmosphere geared towards great thinking and idea generation.” Situated in heart of Sandton, the economic hub of Southern Africa, Sandton Convention Centre is Tsogo Sun’s premier conferencing venue. Backed up by Tsogo Sun’s proud 40 year heritage in the hospitality industry, this 12-storey building has formed part of Sandton’s iconic skyline for the past 13 years. For more information on Sandton Convention Centre, log on to www.saconvention.co.za, join the Facebook page on http://www.facebook.com/groups/39739504327/ or follow on Twitter at @SandtonEvent.