The day is finally here – this year’s South African Global Pizza Challenge (GPC) gets underway at the Hotel & Hospitality Show at Sandton Convention Centre from Thursday, 18 May to Saturday, 20 May 2023 when the winner will be announced.
City Lodge Hotel Group has taken a slice of the sponsorship pizza pie in support of this exciting culinary competition and in honour of the great strides taken in food and beverage across the group’s 59 hotels spread across four hotel brands and four countries. Hot, cheesy pizza with a range of delicious, fresh toppings is a hit with most people and is a firm favourite on the menus at our Courtyard Hotels, City Lodge Hotels, Town Lodges and Road Lodges.
Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, chief operating officer at City Lodge Hotel Group, explains: “We chose to get involved in this exciting culinary competition as another step in our food and beverage journey. With the ongoing expansion and enhancement of our menus, we want to ensure our guests know we take mealtimes seriously. We also want to give our hard-working kitchen teams exposure to new ideas, expand their understanding of ingredients and flavour, and inspire and motivate them to share their learnings with their teams. For us it’s all about delivering on our motto of ‘People caring for people’, front and back of house.”
This annual event, endorsed by the South Africa Chefs Association (SACA), is part of global recognition of the huge role pizza plays in share of stomach in the sit-down, takeaway and retail markets. Chefs, cooks and independent pizza makers – whether representative of a stand-alone pizzeria, restaurant, take-away outlet, hotel, suburban hot spot or plain home enthusiast – will be tossing up a cooking sensation throughout the three show days, with the event culminating in the announcement of the winners.
Visitors will witness the approx. 20 finalists in action – and may even nab a slice of pizza to taste! – as they prepare their commercially viable options across four categories:
- Chicken or meat
- Vegan or vegetarian
- Speciality or dessert
The overall winner will receive a cash prize of R10,000, a winner's trophy and their name engraved on the floating trophy. There is also a prize of R3,000 for the best vegan pizza and R5,000 for the best use of Soweto Hot Sauce.
The panel of judges includes Jeff Schueremans (head judge), James Khoza (president SACA), Philippe Frydman (executive chef Oakfield Farm), George Georgiou (executive chef Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort), and Sizwe Cebekhulu (corporate culinary consultant and director SACA), and headed up by coordinator Martin Kobald (vice-president World Association of Chefs Societies), Loren Vandenborre (GPC coordinator), and Glenn McGinn (Visual Feast Group photography and videography) as everyone's favourite master of ceremonies. We can now share the name of a very special mystery judge that’s been under wraps – can you guess who it is?! None other than Trevor Boyd, general manager: operations – food and beverage at City Lodge Hotel Group, past team manager for Team South Africa at the IKA/Culinary Olympics 2020 and prior to that a team member for 20 years, one of the country’s top executive chefs and competition judge.
Other co-sponsors include: FoodServ Solutions, Soweto Spice Company, Unilever, Chef MLK School of Cooking, Complete Restaurant Solutions, Visual Feast Group, Colcafé, Grupo Nutresa, Sir Fruit, Tork Essity, Rich's, Ital Deli and MJ Event Gear.
Register to attend the Hotel & Hospitality Show here (entry is free): https://www.thehotelshowafrica.com/ and head to the Global Pizza Challenge competition area to join in the fun!