Meet the judges & chefs @foodnetwork @on dstv #SouthAfrica!


Premieres on Food Network, DStv Channel 175 on Wednesday, 23 July at 9pm with one new episode each Wednesday thereafter at 9pm


Chopped South Africa is a cooking competition show where the skills, speed, and ingenuity of four chefs are tested to the limit as they compete against each other and the clock under the scrutiny of three expert judges. Their challenge is to turn out an extraordinary 3-course meal with every-day items and a challenging combination of ingredients to win over the judges.

Course by course one chef will be chopped from the competition until only one is left standing. Who will make the cut? The answer is on Chopped South Africa, a challenging cooking competition show featuring memorable characters, on-the-edge drama, surprising cuisine and cut-throat competition. The stakes are high, everybody wants to walk away with the honours and the R 40 000 prize that is on the line.

The Chef’s go head-to-head bringing only their knives and knowledge to the cooking stations where they unpack their baskets of mystery ingredients to create a dish on the fly. The baskets are filled with unexpected products and combinations and change with every course. Frankfurters for dessert, white chocolate for starters, and chocolate coated peanuts for the main course. Whatever the ingredients or however unusual the combinations, our chefs must incorporate the selected mystery items in each round.

With seconds to think about their creation, the chefs race against the clock and each other to create a round-winning dish to impress the judges with taste, creativity and presentation. But that’s only half the pressure. Once they’ve completed their dish, they’ve got to survive the dreaded Chopping Block!

Sitting behind the Chopping Block is a panel of three expert judges waiting to be wowed. Not shy to pass their culinary criticism and geared to zone in on the slightest mishap or mistake they decide who will survive the Chopping Block and who will be chopped from the competition.

Presenter Denvor Phokaners has his job cut out to guide this high energy, high pressure show that will keep viewers riveted to their seats, rooting for a winner and cheering for the losers. Chopped is a game of passion, expertise and skills where only one chef survives the chopping block.


Episode 1

In this battle of the sexes, whose nerves will let them down? If you are fascinated by exceptional culinary skills, enjoy the thrill of the chase and thrive on tension, don’t miss Chopped South Africa where the kitchen is the battle ground and round by round one chef becomes victim to the dreaded chopping board.
· Malebo Pila
· Elze Roome
· Ayanda khumalo
· Leanne Galloway
Premiere of Chopped South Africa:
· Wed 23rd July at 9pm

Episode 2

In this all Cape Town epic, it is one female against three male chefs who have to elevate South African street food to a fine dining level. Will they rise to the occasion with mystery basket items that include chicken feet for starters and dried seaweed for dessert? Tune in to find out.
· Alice Wilhelm
· Germaine Esau
· Stefan Marais
· Jody Theodore
· Wed 30th July at 9pm

Episode 3

What will the four chefs make of the chopped signature mix of mystery basket ingredients? How will they react to the culinary criticism of the judges to stand up in a show where every minute becomes a second? Find out in this latest edition of Chopped South Africa!
· Hanroe Erasmus
· Adriaan Maree
· Damian Pentelow
· George Georgiou
· Wed 6th Aug at 9pm

Episode 4

Excited about a kaleidoscope of cooking background, talent and approach? Watch this battle royal between four chefs pitched against each other, the clock, the judges, and the daunting task of balancing big African flavours with the subtle tastes of Asia. It is a show with memorable characters, drama, surprising skills, and cut throat competition that will have you rooting for all of them and cheering for the losers.
· Nadia Vosloo
· Kgomotso Rasepae
· William Maimela
· Dylan Jonsson
· Wed 13th Aug at 9pm

Episode 5

Are South Africa’s chefs on par with the rest of the world? Decide for yourself as you see four championship chefs with numerous Culinary Gold medals to their credit, in action in the Chopped South Africa kitchen. Observe their special kind of skill and decide who you favour as they put their hearts on a plate to raise funds for the World Chefs Tour against Hunger.
· Martin Kobald
· Manfred Reinhart
· Jeff Schueremans
· Heinz Brunner
· Wed 20th Aug at 9pm


Denver Phokaners

Denvor Phokaners is a South African entrepreneur and actor best known as a cast member of the SABC2 variety comedy series Colour TV, in 2011. He is also the co-presenter of the current SABC2 travelogue programme MooiLoop!, together with South African musician Valiant Swart. Apart from his corporate career, Denvor is a singer-songwriter and has released two music albums, wrote a song for an American animation move entitled Lion of Judah and co-wrote a chart topping song, Time Bomb, with his project band called Superneon. The song went to No. 3 on Algoa FM and No. 4 on OFM. In 2010 Denvor was chosen to be a business mentor and judge in the award winning SABC1 reality competition Rize Mzansi, which pitted 12 entrepreneurial companies against each other for the chance to win R1-million in business capital. Denvor has worked in front as well as behind the camera. He spent some time as a videographer in his production company called SlowTrain Productions, specialising in corporate and event videos. Denvor also recorded FW De Klerk’s 70th birthday party as former president De Klerk’s private videographer. He has taken part in a few South African musical productions of which the notable one has been playing Horace in the Charles Dickens adapted play The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He presented SABC2’s 2001 variety show The Singing Buffalo and acted as Gershwin D Fortune in the SABC2 comedy series Colour TV. Denvor is married to Michelle and together they have two children, Sarah-Mae and Daniel. They live in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Jenny Morris

Jenny Morris, also known as The Giggling Gourmet, is a celebrity chef and radio personality from South Africa. She opened Cook’s Playground in 1997, operating it as a cooking school and catering company. She has written four cookbooks, Rude Food, Nude Food, Good Food in 2004, More Rude Food in 2006 and Cooking with Jenny Morris in 2012, Taste the World with Jenny Morris as well as contributing to magazines including the South African Edition Oprah Magazine and writing a weekly column for an entertainment guide in South Africa. She is also a presenter on the radio station Cape Talk, where she discusses both food and romance. She has starred in two series with Food Network, Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco and Jenny Morris Cooks The Riviera, her present series in which she explores the delectable tastes of the Mediterranean.
Siba Mtongana

Siba, a young and dynamic food enthusiast, brought style and charisma to South African TV. She holds a degree in Food and Consumer Sciences, majoring in Food and Food Science as well as Nutrition. She specialises in recipe development, food writing and food styling, and has won three prestigious Galliova Awards for her food journalism and her involvement in the South African food arena. Among other activities, Siba develops food supplements or booklets for clients, judges food-related events, holds food workshops and demonstrations, gives food and nutrition talks in different platforms throughout the country, hosts TV and radio discussions on food programmes and related topics and motivates youth in different platforms by sharing her story. She also inspires students studying food-related courses at universities and colleges by showcasing food media as a career choice. Siba believes in giving back and is now a patron for Foodbank South Africa, an organisation that fights against hunger and malnutrition through food rescuing programmes whist working with other community based projects helping those affected with HIV/AIDS. In 2013 her first series with Food Network, Siba’s Table, aired on the channel in more than 90 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

David Van Staden
David van Staden Group Executive Chef for Tsogo Sun was reluctant to become a chef as he thought it would be useless to compete with his talented and competitive brother who was a chef. But his career was decided when he entered the kitchen as door stop to Hotel management and pastry caught his attention, and he became mesmerized by the time, detail and skills involved in creating those “pop in the mouth perfections”.

He spend the next 16 years on a worldwide culinary journey that honed his skill in pastry and moulded his culinary opinion, before migrating to kitchen management as executive chef where his philosophy of.

Now responsible to develop the high-end skills of the groups’ chefs as well as creating more innovative, world-class food and beverage experiences for its guests, David is still a stickler to adhering to the basics even when it involves setting culinary trends, or the key operational aspects of a kitchen.
David enjoys cooking at home, pottering in his herb and strawberry garden, and skateboarding or surfing with his wife and children
He has a keen and personal goal to help boost membership numbers for the South African Chefs Association as well as establishing a pastry division in SACA in a bid to boost pastry that is fast becoming a forgotten or elusive trade.

Rebecca Hurst
Rebecca Hurst (47) is the Director of The Hurst Campus, a progressive hospitality school in the Cape Winelands that she has led with unwavering integrity and inspired vision for the past 11 years – earning it a reputation as one of the best on the African continent. A brilliant educator and self-taught entrepreneur, she has integrated her two great passions – food and education – to become a leader of industry, and her influence reaches far beyond the boundaries of her profession.

Lindsey Venn
Lindsay Venn was born in Cape Town some forty years ago, under the Pisces Zodiac Sign. He loves what he does best which is cooking, entertaining and adding lots of spice to life. He is always trying new dishes and experimenting with old and new flavour combinations. Hard work, discipline and perseverance have seen this young chef moving through the culinary ranks and earning the prestigious position of Executive Chef at the renowned Tsogo Sun, The Cullinan Hotel.


 28 year old Malebo Pila banqueting chef at the Radison Blue Gautrain Hotel at the time of the competition is currently sous chef at the Wanderers Club as a direct result of his participation in Chopped South Africa. He competed against the Executive Chef at Wanderers Club who was suitably impressed with his talent and pace in the kitchen.
His passion for cooking started as a child when he spent a lot of time with his mother in the kitchen. It came as no surprise when he decided to obtain a Diploma in Professional Cookery at Hospitality Training Associates and it is also no surprise that his individual style and adventurous attitude to cooking is being noticed where it matters, in the highly competitive hospitality industry.


 Twenty eight year old Elze Roome the Executive Chef and product developer for Tashas Café has a passion for pastry. After she completed her culinary studies she worked at Brasserie de Paris in Cape Town, then followed her dream to study patisserie in France.
Elze who was voted 3rd top female and Young Chef of the Year by SA Tourism, and boasts a Diners Club Wine List Diamond Award, doesn’t compromise when it comes to the art of patisserie. She lives by precision, attention to detail, and understanding trends to deliver classics with a modern twist.


 Thirty eight year old Ayanda Khumalo, currently Executive Chef at Emoyeni Conference Centre in Johannesburg, started his career as a dish washer in a restaurant. Watching the chefs in action motivated his decision to take a career as chef. This former boxer, who approaches cooking with the same dexterity he displayed in the ring, has come a long way since qualifying with a Food & Beverage Management, and was voted 2010 Chef of the Year in Dubai. In his free time Ayanda enjoys spending time with his family, staying fit and the sounds of African jazz.


 Thirty two year old Leanne Galloway, Executive Chef at Wanderers Club in Johannesburg has a number of culinary credits and achievements to her name. The former food editor for Curvy SA Magazine is an executive committee member for the South African Chefs Association (Gauteng), has featured in Food & Home Magazine, and judged the coveted Unilever Chef of the Year Challenge.
Outgoing Leanne enjoys fire dancing and paintball. She believes that cooking from the hearts reflects on the plate – cooking with love brought to life.


 Twenty seven year old Alice Wilhelm is Senior Sous Chef at Terrior Restaurant in Stellenbosch where she enjoys a walk through the vineyard’s to experience the landscape and scenery that deliver the great wines she enjoys sharing with family and friends. Trained at the Institute of Culinary Arts Alice who is an easy going person, takes cooking very seriously and doesn’t believe in taking short cuts to deliver flavours.
She supports Sisters for Blisters a cause against women and child abuse and has been known to wear high heels in the kitchen in solidarity with the pain caused by abuse. She believes in girl power and her long list of culinary achievements proves this a future power to reckon with.


 26 year old Germaine Esau, chef at Delaire Graff Estate in the Stellenbosch wine area, classically trained in culinary arts and patisserie, has a passion for fine dining. His career path that include stints at the likes of Le Quartier Francais and Barouche at Blauwklippen has enabled him to develop his classical skills and allows him to live his passion for good food.
Germaine who loves reading, is a keen fisherman, and regularly plays sports. He admits that balancing career and life can be challenging but adds that this like balance in cooking is a basic skill everyone should develop.


 Thirty year old Jody Theodore who freelanced as chef and food stylist to gain extensive experience is currently the owner and chef of Flavour Hospitality in Cape Town. He is the presenter for Spekko Home Cooking on Cape TV, where he brings flair to simple cooking and everyday ingredients. Fun loving Jody likes socializing and is also a keen food photographer.


 30 year Stephan aka Chef Steph the executive chef at Societi Bistro and The Brasserie in Cape Town did his apprenticeship in the United Kingdom at a seaside hotel in Devon. After qualifying he travelled to train under chefs in France, Italy and Spain, an experience that prepared him for running two very busy kitchens every day. Stephan believes that every meal should be an experience and that a hearty meal well prepared is one of the greatest pleasures of life.
He loves the outdoors and jogs to keep fit. He reads philosophy, studies the link between spirituality and food, and experiments bringing elements of nature into his cooking.

 Thirty two year old Hanroe Erasmus the executive chef at African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel philosophy is being a chef is not a job but a life style. His career was decided when at age 17 year he sent Rick Stein a letter to ask how to become a chef, and the answer was: “You are born one.”
Hanroe, who is known and respected for his talent to Africanize classic dishes, makes extensive use of an impressive collection of cooking books. His chef idol is Anthony Bourdain who he considers to be the original chef rock star. Hanroe is competitive, thinks out of the box but plans meticulously, hence his standing as trend setter when it comes to African fusion cooking.

 24 year old Damian Pentelow Senior Sous Chef of the African Pride Mount Grace Country House and Spa did his apprenticeship at La Colombe under Luke Dale-Roberts. His first contact with food was when his dad taught him to braai (barbeque) at age six, and this relationship has never ended
His career includes a stint on The Queen Elizabeth, where he thrived in the high pressure kitchen environment. His dishes are about big bold flavours. He believes creating food is an art and strives to deliver a portrait on every plate.
Damian who likes working hard and playing hard, is a good golfer, loves adventure and outdoor activities, and socialising with friends.

 48 year old George Georgiou is the Executive Chef for Southern Sun Silverstar and Casino where his style of cooking has the flair of Mediterranean cooking with its focus on fresh produce and flavours. .
In 2011 George cooked for 38 hours to break the World Record for the Longest Individual Cooking Marathon
George participates in several defensive sports and is a member of the South African defensive Association. A man who by own admission seldom misses his target in or out of the kitchen

 Twenty nine year old Adriaan Maree is the Executive Chef at Roots Restaurant at Forum Homini Hotel where he uses his talent to make food interesting by “using ingredients you know in ways you don’t”.
Adriaans’ career stints in one and two star Michelin restaurants include working with Claude Bosi at Hibiscus Restaurant, London. His cooking philosophy is: light and simple; impacted with flavour; personality and character.
In his free time he cycles and jogs


 35 Year old Nadia Vosloo is a Senior Lecturer at the SA Chef’s Training and Innovation Academy. She is responsible for developing the curriculum and writing the study material. She enjoys lecturing and shaping young talent with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as chefs.

Mother of two, her biggest challenge is how to balance career and life and says although terrible at it she loves playing golf. .


 24 year old Kgomotso Rasepae Chef De Partie at the Mount Grace Country House and Spa is one of South Africa’s rising stars, and always up for a challenge.

Member of the SA Junior Culinary Olympic Team in 2012 this creative talent
specialises in pastry because she loves chocolate and sugar.
Her affair with food started at home where she cooked up a storm with her mother and surprised them by turning everyday food into delectable dishes. .

To stay in shape she spends time in the gym and plays social netball


 38 year old William Maimela the Executive Chef at Royal Mnandi at Wits University trained locally but his career includes stints in European kitchens including time at the Vulduc Restaurant in Belgium.

William says being a chef is not a career but a way of life, his dream is to open his own restaurant where he can dictate the menu, African flavours using only natural and organic products.

He is an avid reader and an ace at playing pool.


29 year old Dylan Jonnson is a self-taught chef who ahs been cooking since the age of 5. He is entrepreneur and owner of A Thyme to Dine where he has developed and created an innovative range of chocolate based products. products. He wants to open a restaurant where every dish on the menu contains chocolate.
He loves gardening and uses his own home grown herbs and products in the chocolate products developed to enhance every dish.


 58 year old Swiss trained Heinz has been key in establishing standards in SA for more than 30 years. Called the doyen of cooking by his peers & many young chefs. He is without a doubt one of the most respected names in culinary SA. Part of WCTAH and SA Chefs Climb Kilimanjaro Against Hunger 2013. Holds the grade of Sergeant Major. He enjoys time with his grand daughters and is a fanatical golfer.


 46 year old Martin is the Consulting and Endorsing Corporate Executive Chef at Royal Mnandi, Chef/Owner of MLK Food & Beverage Consulting. Past President and Honorary President of SACA. Convener of World Chefs Tour Against Hunger and Food Advocate of the UN – World Food Program. SA Chefs Climb Kilimanjaro Against Hunger 2013.


 Manfred is the Director of Gallagher Gourmet Catering. Previous work as director at Sinclair Signature and also Executive Chef at Shandrani Hotel Mauritius, Inter Continental Hotels group and Southern Sun Hotels. Part of World Chefs Tour Against Hunger 2011 and SA Chefs Climb Kilimanjaro Against Hunger 2013.


 Jeff is a consultant for Blue Bay Mussels, Klein Karoo Ostrich Meat, Fruit Spot, FG La Pasta and Volcan Foods. He trained in Belgium. Part of the World Chefs Tour Against Hunger and SA Chefs Climb Kilimanjaro Against Hunger 2013. He is a brewer’s son and would like to create his own beer. Makes his own Parma style ham & bacon. He likes to do mountain biking & walking. Love to travel.


  1. Ken

    The Male judge
    Is he trying to be the bad boy
    Emulating the idols bad boys and the original Simon Cowell
    No expression
    Doesn’t work ….
    Really only focuses on the negatives
    Embarrassing really?

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