It’s South Africa’s best food competition for youngsters and it’s back, bigger and better than ever! Taste Bud Battle 2020 is once again on the lookout to find the country’s best and brightest young chefs.
Says organiser Donna Verrydt: “We were totally overwhelmed by the response last year for our inaugural competition and we expect this year to be even bigger and better, with prizes of more than R50,000 to be won.
“We will be hosting taste-tests in Cape Town, Durban, George, Johannesburg and Pretoria and we are expecting hundreds of young chefs to enter,” says Verrydt.
Last year’s winners were five-year-old Yusri Zunaid Noorbhai (Taste Bud Battle Mini Chef of the Year); Gabriella Shalekoff, 11, (Taste Bud Battle Junior Chef of the Year) and Trezar Bhana, 16 (Taste Bud Battle Senior Chef of the Year).
Adds Verrydt: “Getting children into the kitchen provides practical experience with many essential skills, such as reading and following directions, and research has shown that cooking and baking can help them develop fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination and even early concepts of maths and science.
“Of course it’s also creative, loads of fun and brings the family together.”
Taste Bud Battle’s theme for 2020 is Fruity Fun and the options are endless. Entrants can bake with fruit, cook a savoury dish using fruit or even make a dish that resembles a fruit. Dishes can focus on just one fruit or could feature a medley of fruits. Fruit can be the actual dish, the accompaniment or the sauce! Contestants should also remember that some produce they may think of as a vegetable may actually be a fruit such as pumpkins, butternuts, chillies, capsicums, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, aubergines, sweet corn and avocados.
Taste Bud Battle 2020 is open to contestants in four age categories: pre-primary (four to five-year-olds); junior primary (six to nine); primary (10 to 13) and high-school (14 to 19). Entries close May 31.
Semi-finalists will be announced on June 11, with regional cook-offs taking place on July 11 (Johannesburg); July 18 (Pretoria); July 25 (Durban); August 1 (Cape Town) and August 15 (George). Finalists will be announced on August 31 and flown up to Johannesburg for the ultimate Taste Bud Battle cook-off on October 3 where category winners will be chosen as the Taste Bud Battle Chef of the Year and the overall grand champion will walk away with R50,000 worth of prizes in each age category.
Taste Bud Battle sponsors include Capsicum Culinary Studio, Snowflake, Cresta Shopping Centre and Menlyn Park Shopping Centre with more to be announced soon.