Authentically South African but with a truly global appeal, Sun City continues to be one of the most exciting and innovative conferencing destinations for local and international companies. Appealing to the diversity of guests who visit the resort requires innovation and creativity – especially when it comes to food.
“We want our guests to experience authentic African hospitality and cuisine but we also want them to taste the world,” says Chef Willie Mcotoyi, the Executive Chef of the Sun City Convention Centre and mastermind behind Sun City’s new conferencing food concept.
The new tasting menus reflect Sun City’s global clientele, offering guests the chance to sample the flavours from around the world. Companies can choose from several tasting menus featuring dishes from different countries, allowing them to customise the culinary experience with the conference experience for their delegates. Gone are the traditional buffets that are typically available at conferences.
“The culinary aspect should be considered a key component of the overall conference experience rather than just being something that needs to be done.”
Chef Willie has been in the hospitality industry for 25 years, 11 of which have been spent in Sun International’s kitchens, with the past year at Sun City’s new, state of the art Sun City Convention Centre. Chef Willie says he was thrilled to be appointed as Executive Chef of the convention centre as the diversity of the service offering allows him to explore all aspects of the resort’s culinary products.
“Cooking Unites” is this dynamic chef’s rallying call. He explains that he is committed to sharing the knowledge he has gained over the years through teaching and mentoring all those who want to learn. “I am a firm believer that through cooking, all cultures can be united, hence my rallying motto.” When seeing what is on offer on Chef Willie’s all-new taste menus, it is evident that he lives his motto every day.
Chef Willie says that the new taste menus on offer are the combined elements of different culinary cultures and traditions. He sees this as the inspiration for his vision to appeal to the diverse markets and cultures that come to Sun City.
From Asian and South African to Indian or Mexican cuisine, Chef Willie and his team have done the due diligence to ensure the authenticity of every dish. It does not get more authentic (but with a twist) than the “Taste of South Africa” option. Chef Willie explains that this theme is more about “Braai-ing” and live cooking stations.
“We use fresh, handcrafted marinades and venison meats which is a healthy and popular option for our conference delegates. These are extremely popular at our events hosted at the iconic Valley of Waves, as well as the Greenhouse venue overlooking the 9th hole of the Gary Player Country Club.”
Banqueting and conferencing clients are free to choose more than one featured cuisine on their menu as Chef Willie and his team pride themselves in customisation and, within a client’s budget, are open to any discussions pertaining to their culinary preferences and selections. “When selecting the dishes, we looked at creativity, demographics, type of conference/event, venue utilised (indoor or outdoor) and of course the budget to determine the menu recommendations.
Menu tastings are conducted in the resort’s bespoke venue called the Show Lab, where clients are provided with different options to assist them in making their choices. The first taste menus were introduced during February this year as the team decided to integrate them slowly. When asked how the menus have been received, a prideful Chef Willie tells of a regular corporate client who recently selected the “Taste of Mexico” menu. “It was well received and enjoyed as it was in line with their themed function.”