The crème de la crème of Bfn join hands

Participating chefs at the Chef's Table event are from the left Janice Solomons, CUT Hotel School; Sumari Rauch, Protea by Mariott; Michele Fourie, Food and Beverage Institute; Simon Tyrannis from The Blue Gem; Patso Nikolov, Patso's; Lesley Jacobs, Director SA Chefs and Deon Pastor, Southern Sun Hotel Bloemfontein. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

Fine dining at its best was brought to Bloemfontein at the Chef’s Table Event as local chefs joined hands to bring an unforgettable dining experience to both foodies and wine lovers.

The Chef’s Table, hosted by The Blue Gem Restaurant in association with the South African Chefs Association, is the talk of the town as some of Bloemfontein’s finest chefs pulled out all the stops to present a five-course meal that was paired with complementary wine.

The evening also served as a platform where local chefs and restaurants could promote their craft and businesses. This as the hospitality industry suffered a huge blow due to the Covid-19 world pandemic. SA Chefs Association Free State region chairman, Deon Pastor, told Bloemfontein Courant in a previous interview that they want to promote the chefs of the city and their food whilst creating a renewed excitement for the industry.

Smoking dome dessert by The Blue Gem Restaurant
Photos: Chef Janice Solomons

The concept of promoting the art and science of cooking is one that the SA Chefs Association has been advocating for years, but with limited exposure to our local chefs and cooks.
For this specific reason, the regional committee, under guidance of chef Deon Pastor, executive chef of the Southern Sun Hotel, Bloemfontein, decided to involve local chefs in not only creating a chef’s table, but to promote their own styles of cooking and their restaurant specialities to the public.

According to Director of SA Chefs, Lesley Jacobs, never before has food brought so many different restaurateurs and chefs together to present a single menu in Bloemfontein. “Food unites people and our aim is to unite our chefs in these trying and difficult Covid times.

Festive chicken terrine by Warm Karoo

Some of these chefs opened their doors just over a year ago and survived Covid. For this reason alone, we salute them and want to ask the public to support them too. The most amazing behind-the-scenes moments, are the ones the patrons don’t see, and to see these chefs, who normally compete for business, working together as one, was truly spectacular,” said Jacobs.

The Social Food Club, Seisoen, Warm Karoo, Jack and Jill Food Co and The Blue Gem Restaurant were the five restaurants that took part in this one-of-a-kind event. The menu for the evening included fillet parmesan fig-topped flatbread with salsa verde, trout and smoked fish mousse roulade, festive chicken terrine, jacks blowout burger and ended off with a smoking dome dessert.

The first ever Chef’s Table event took place on 8 December 2020. Be on the lookout for the next one.

Pierce van Heerden