Thursday, April 23, 2015



Following two inspiring events in 2013 and 2014, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, part of the family-run Red Carnation Hotel Collection, is delighted to once again participate in the third Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge. Executive Chef Christo Pretorius and Head Sommelier Gregory Mutambe have selected this year’s most promising young chef and wine steward to compete amongst South Africa’s crème de la crème of properties.

Brainchild of Showcook team Annette Kesler and Chania Morritt-Smith, the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge promotes mentorship, staff upliftment and much needed skills transfer within the South African hotel and tourism industry. Says Annette Kesler: ‘This initiative goes beyond the competitive and has become a unifying spirit and collaborative force in the hotel industry, reaching out and encompassing the broad and important role of development and advancement.’

This year three hotels in Port Elizabeth are set to participate for the first time, with a total of 25 hotels on board, including 15 of the Western Cape’s top hotels, as well as four properties in Johannesburg and three in Durban. The winners will be rewarded with a range of fantastic bursaries and vital exposure as a head start to their career including a three week working stage at the Shangri-La Dubai with return flights by Cape Legends 

The Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge is in line with Red Carnation Hotel Collection’s philosophy of highlighting a culture of mentorship, recognising and rewarding achievements, promoting from within and ensuring genuine career progression and a happy, fulfilled work life for its staff.

Owned by the Tollman family, the Red Carnation Hotel Collection includes four- and five-star properties in South Africa, Europe and the USA. The collection is renowned for placing its employees at the heart of its operations, and for hiring talented individuals from all walks of life who are presented with the best available training and development opportunities. Staff members are encouraged to move within properties and often remain part of the Red Carnation family for many years. The group was recently listed in the UK Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ in 2nd place - a tremendous achievement, especially considering that the group entered the list only three years ago at number 71.

As part of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge, Executive Chefs and Sommeliers introduced their 2015 chef and wine steward candidates to industry and press recently at dinners held in Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Cape Town. This will be followed by a special ‘Grape to Glass Experience & Workshop’ for all wine steward candidates in May, taking place in Cape Town in association with the prestigious Cape Wine Academy and enabling them to meet with the winemakers at each of the wine estates that they are paired with. An Indian Ocean Skills Exchange Development Programme will be introduced to the Durban and Port Elizabeth Candidates in Durban at the Unilever Kitchens with guest chefs from the One&Only Saint Geran (Mauritius), Maia (Seychelles) and Southern Sun Elangeni Maharani (KZN). Individual cook-offs for candidate chefs and wine stewards in Cape Town,Durban and Johannesburg are scheduled for June, followed by the Finals at the South African Chefs Academy in Cape Town in July. The winners will be announced during an exclusive black tie Gala Awards Dinner to be held at the Cape Sun  on Friday 14 August 2015.

The Twelve Apostles Hotel looks forward to showcasing the talents of its candidates to an illustrious audience. The hotel’s two candidate staff members have both come from humble backgrounds and share talent, passion, drive and determination to make their mark in the hospitality industry.

Tanzwell Nair – Chef Candidate
Tanzwell ‘Taz’ Nair was set for a career in the film industry before convincing his father that cooking was really all he ever wanted to do. He was first hired by The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in April 2013 as Trainee-Commis Chef. Having noticed his considerable talent and passion for food, Executive Chef Christo Pretorius promoted Taz to Demi Chef de Partie a year later. While working his way up the career ladder at The Twelve Apostles, Taz honed his skills at the Capsicum Culinary Studio in Salt River, successfully graduating with a diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking in March 2015. Taz is thrilled to be a part of the prestigious competition, and is ready to put his all into it. Aiming to become the best he can possibly be, he dreams of one day owning his own restaurant. 

Richard Gosa – Wine Steward Candidate
Richard Gosa hails from the Eastern Cape but relocated to the Western Cape in 2001, to obtain a job as Head Bartender and Wine Steward at Grootbos Nature Reserve in Hermanus – a position he held for eight years. While at Grootbos he further honed his skills by completing a Preliminary Wine Course at the Cape Wine Academy in 2005. This was followed by experience gained working at Delaire Graff Wine Estate, Longridge Restaurant, the Protea President Hotel, and Aubergine Restaurant (Cape Town), where Richard was appointed as Junior Sommelier. Looking for a new challenge, he joined The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa as Commis Sommelier in February 2015. Mentored by Head Sommelier Gregory Mutambe, Richard will soon start studying for his Cape Wine Master qualification at the Cape Wine Academy.

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About Red Carnation Hotels

Red Carnation Hotels is an award-winning collection of five and four star family-run boutique hotels in London, Dorset, Guernsey, Geneva, Florida and South Africa. Each property has its own individual character and unique location that reflects the local environment, culture and cuisine. They all share the qualities that win Red Carnation so many prestigious awards – splendid luxury, generous hospitality, inventive and traditional cuisine, private art collections, passionate service and loyal staff committed to creating richly rewarding experiences for all their guests. For more information about these award-winning hotels and the rest of the Red Carnation Collection, please go to