Bfn movers & shakers conquer the globe

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Tony Peng and Dillen Kruger.

Two young movers and shakers from the events industry in the City of Roses are currently making waves on a global scale. 

Well-known Bloemfontein entrepreneur Tony Peng has been named as one of the Global Young Entrepreneur Stars, hosted by the Overseas Community Affairs Council in Taiwan. And if that is not enough, another Bloemfonteiner, Dillen Kruger, has been selected for the Junior National Culinary Team to represent South Africa at the African Culinary Cup during the World Chefs Congress from 30 May to 2 June in Abu Dhabi. Kruger is a second year student at the Food and Beverage Institute (FBI) Chef School. 

Peng is the owner of ENVIE, a creative lifestyle and concept design company that focuses on conceptualizing, planning and executing events and bespoke weddings in South Africa. According to him, 69 young entrepreneurs from 21 countries on six continents participated in the Global Young Entrepreneur Stars this year. The results were announced on May 11, with 30 people winning the honour of being named Global Young Entrepreneur Stars. Peng was the only winner from Africa. The official award ceremony is set to take place in Taipei, Taiwan in September. 

“I’m ecstatic and honoured to be named one of the winners this year. I received the news on 20 May from the Taipei Liaison Office in Pretoria,” says Tony. 

Advice from Tony to fellow entrepreneurs is to dream big, start small, and to take action. “Just because we’re based in Bloem doesn’t mean that we’re less equipped or at a disadvantage. The world is our playground, so my advice for any young entrepreneur is to broaden your knowledge, and use technology and social media to learn what’s happening globally in order to attract your local market.” 

Kruger is the first Junior National Culinary member from the Free State in over 20 years. “This selected South African team is regarded as the Springboks of food in South Africa and has been the pride and joy of the SA Chef Association for many years,” says Lesley Jacobs, Programme Director of FBI and the Director of the South African Chef Association. 

The team was selected over a period of six months. A semi-final squad of seven chefs was chosen, and after two months of practice, the final three chefs were chosen to represent South Africa.

“I’m so excited to represent our beautiful country, its rich food diversity and my personal skills. I’m looking forward to seeing the different cuisine styles from other countries and learning from the best in the world,” Kruger said.

The junior team, called Masakhane, will be presenting food according to the strict rules and guidelines of the World Association of Chefs and will be judged by A-level international judges from all competing countries.

Jeretha Oosthuizen 

jeretha@mahareng.co.za