South Africa’s best butchers will be given a well-deserved platform to showcase their international-level skills, demonstrating creative preparation and uses of beef, lamb and pork at The Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival (#fireandfeast), presented by Crown National, taking place over Johannesburg’s Ticketpro Dome from 26 to 28 May.
“This is the first event of its kind in South Africa and we are really excited to be providing this unique opportunity for the public to see the best at work,” said Paul Edmunds, Sponsorship and Content Manager at Reed Exhibitions, festival organisers who have partnered with Crown National on the event. “Visitors can expect to learn interesting new ways to prepare meat from leading butchers with some of the country’s best chefs on hand to demonstrate cooking techniques using a variety of modern utensils.”
The National Butchers’ Challenge Presented by Crown National
Giving South African butchers a major push onto the international stage is the National Butchers’ Challenge presented by Crown National. The contest, which will run throughout the festival, sees 10 teams consisting of six members each, competing in a three-hour time slot where they will be required to prepare and present cuts of beef, lamb and pork. The six members will be assigned specific tasks with no overlap and assistance allowed. Their overall performance will be assessed by a panel of judges with representatives from the South African Chefs Association and South African Meat Industry Council scrutinising several aspects such as hygiene, knife skills, marketability of the cuts, presentation and the uniqueness of the product formulation. The best butchers of this challenge – organised by leading South African butcher, Caroline McCann and renowned chef, Arnold Tanzer – will go on to represent South African at the World Butcher’s Challenge taking place in Belfast, Ireland in 2018.
The SA Free Flame Championships
Keeping the competitive flame alive will be another first on the South African butchers’ calendar; the SA Free Flame Championships. Organised by Dany Leribaux, president of the SA Free Flame Association, the contest is made up of four cornerstone disciplines including potjie, braai, American-style barbeque and shisa nyama. There will be about 170 competitors participating in the contest over The Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival weekend. Judges will select a four-person team from the championship event to represent South Africa at the World BBQ Championships 2017, also being held in Ireland.
Visitors looking for some kitchen inspiration from experts in the culinary world will find something to satiate their appetite in any of the four kitchen zones set to feature at The Fire & Feast Butchers’ Festival. Leading South African chefs will rotate throughout the four zones daily, bringing with them a unique take on fine cuisine, hearty meals and delicious snacks. Everything from the preparation, cooking and presentation of traditional South African fare to more internationally nuanced dishes will be created in this interactive and experiential kitchen zone. To bolster that iron intake, visitors can stop in at the Lamb and Mutton SA Kitchenwhile sausages, bacon and everything in between will be cured and cooked at the Pork 360 Kitchen. Fillet, sirloin and beef medallions will take centre stage at The Beef Zone with chefs incorporating these three different meat options into spectacular on-the-go meals at The Blue Ribbon Sandwich Square Theatre. Chefs will use this prime opportunity to demonstrate the amazing features of Chad-O-Chef, one of the country’s leading braai manufacturers, who will be supplying their range of gas braais for use throughout the event.
The Castle Tank
And all this meat sampling and gastronomical education is thirsty work, so visitors will find some refreshing suds at the Castle Tank. Overflowing with ales, lagers, pilsners and draughts all bubbling with unmatched flavour, brew masters will bring these golden delights into the venue, freshly brewed every morning.
In addition to these delectable features, The Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival will also welcome visitors with a tantalising Breakfast Zone where the unmistakable smell of sizzling bacon and pork sausages will set the mood for this family-friendly event. Children will also be kept entertained throughout at the Kids’ Zone, fully equipped with jumping castles and crafts.
The Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival, presented by Crown National, runs from 10am to 6pm daily. Tickets are available from TicketPro at a cost of R100 for adults, R80 for pensioners and students with free admission for children under 12.
Note that Friday, 26 May is a trade-focused day with complimentary access to all approved pre-registered trade, who pre-register on the website