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Chef of the Year


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UFS announces addition to Junior prize

SA picture of a mussel

In a massive coup for the South African hospitality industry, Unilever Food Solutions has secured the prize of a lifetime for the winner of the Junior category of their annual Chef of the Year competition - a trip to Nice on the Côte d'Azur in France, to apprentice with Chef Jan Hendrik in his Michelin-star restaurant – in addition to a R10 000 cash prize. And there’s just enough time to enter before the competition closing date of Friday 14 July.

The Unilever Food Solutions Junior Chef of the Year is open to any chef aged between 18 and 25, and there are great reasons to enter, with cash prizes of R10 000 for first place, R6 000 for second and R4 000 for third place. This year, for the first time, the top prize also includes a week’s working holiday with South African Chef Jan Hendrik, with flights and accommodation.

By striking a meticulous balance between South African heritage classics and French cuisine, Restaurant JAN offers a unique and unforgettable experience in the fine dining arena. The artistry of the cuisine is enhanced by the exquisite décor, which reflects both Jan Hendrik’s culinary and cultural inspirations.

Young chefs can find the competition entry portal at featuring a simple and interactive entry process. The portal also offers inspiration with success stories, past winners and their recipes, judge bios and what they’re looking for, tips and tricks, and social media feeds. Just register your interest to access all the information you need to make your entry hassle-free, and to upload your entry and recipes. Alternatively, entries can be submitted via email to

This prize of a dream-come-true trip to France, the prize money, and the chance to make a name for yourself as an up and coming young chef through the extensive media attention that the competition attracts makes this competition an opportunity that cannot be missed.

Enter now – and dream of the culinary possibilities in your future.

The closing date for entries is Friday 14 July, and regional finals take place between 26 to 28 July. The national final on 6 September will see two individuals or teams from each region preparing a three-course meal incorporating a variety of compulsory proteins and Unilever Food Solutions products.

Watch Richard Ellis talking about his journey to working in London, which began when he won the Junior category of COTY last year

About Unilever Food Solutions Chef of the Year

The Unilever Food Solutions Chef of the Year is the leading South African culinary competition and has been the launch pad into gastronomic greatness for many of South Africa’s top chefs. The competition has three categories – Senior, Junior and Team of 4 – with prize money totalling R110 000.

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