Minette Smith qualified at the Warwick Chef School in Hermanus and spent four years working alongside award-winning chef, David Higgs (who also happens to be one of the South African Culinary Team advisors). With a resumé that includes working in establishments such as The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa, The Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair London, Rust & Vrede, Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Restaurant Mosaic and being the Head Pastry Chef at the Saxon for two years, her vast experience makes her a perfect candidate for the South African National Culinary Team.
Minette’s competition accolades are as impressive as her resumé – she represented South Africa in Italy in the Junior World Cup for Pastry Chefs in Rimini 2011 (where South Africa finished in seventh place). When she represented South Africa in the Global Pastry Chefs Challenge in Namibia in 2013, Minette finished in third place.
I feel incredibly proud to be a part of the National Culinary Team,” says this talented chef who is filled with gratitude at being able to represent South Africa at the IKA Culinary Olympics.
In terms of her role on the National Culinary Team she is involved in the creation, plating and display of the desserts in both the hot and cold kitchen categories.
Minette Smith | HTA School of Culinary Art
The hot kitchen dessert on this year’s menu is a textured splash of raspberry, rose, coconut and white chocolate comprising coconut sand, coconut sorbet, coconut sponge, rose jelly, rose meringue, raspberry mousse, and raspberry jelly. Minette took inspiration for her dessert from the city of Bloemfontein which hosts an annual rose competition and the fact that South Africa is one of the best producers of raspberries in the world (most of which are exported).
She explains it further by saying: “I wanted to represent South Africa the best way I could through this dish and decided to combine elements of our country and let the plate tell the story.
Her passion in life is culinary arts but she has a particular affinity for pastry and confectionary arts. From a young age, she knew that her career would one day be in an environment where she could peruse her love for the culinary arts, where she could be creative, invent and truly inspire.
She has been fortunate to work in some of the best kitchens in the world, along with some of the best teams and world-renowned chefs.
Taking inspiration from her belief in developing and equipping people and teams on all levels, Minette has been privileged to teach commis chefs and bakers, who had no culinary background, but went on to grow and take on positions within kitchen environments.
She also believes the culinary journey is an endless journey on which chefs learn as well as teach; live, experience, innovate and excel. Minette feels truly privileged to be a Pastry Chef.
Minette currently works at HTA School of Culinary Art in Randburg, Johannesburg, where she is the head of the pastry and confectionery training division. She teaches theory as well as practical – and is currently running three different pastry programmes at the school, along with a variety of pastry skill programmes in the evenings for professionals and non-professionals.
Starter of Cape Crayfish Malay – poached crayfish, pressed carrot terrine, carrot mayonnaise and Malay curry sauce.
Main course of Springbok ‘Masakhane’ – pan-roasted loin of Springbok, rolled veal sweetbreads, red cabbage and cider purée, savoy cabbage and Boulangére potato.
Dessert is a textured Splash of Raspberry, Rose, Coconut and White Chocolate – coconut sand, coconut sorbet, coconut sponge, rose jelly, rose meringue, raspberry mousse, and raspberry jelly.