Vancouver 1987

South Africa Team Logo

"African Chefs got buffaloed" - that was the headline in a Vancouver daily newspaper when a team of South African Chefs competing in the World Culinary Arts Festival had all their carefully prepared South African delicacies confiscated by the Canadian Customs. The team was told by a representative of their freight forwarding company that their food had been 'condemned for political reasons'.

They hastily had to substitute Canadian buffalo meat for Kudu, and Canadian Halibut for their prized Kingklip. The chefs received a boost to their morale when they presented their hot kitchen lunch to 150 epicurean tasters. They accepted a standing ovation from the sympathetic crowds and other competing teams. The Team gained 2 silver medals.

The troubled days of apartheid impacted many aspects of normal life. The South African Chefs were themselves fortunate; had they been South African rugby players they would not have been permitted onto the pitch. Oops!... Into the kitchen.

In addition to their silver medals the team also received a most unique award from the Swiss Chefs Association. This award recognized their efforts and declared them to be 'The most Unlucky Team in the Salon'.

The South Africa team was presented by the Swiss team with their Pastry Showpiece as seen in the accompanying photograph.

Acknowledgements for the story line to Heinz Brunner & Shaun Benton.
Vancouver 1987.

Heinz Brunner & George Mazibuko - Vancouver 1987

Prize on a Platter … Heinz Brunner and George Mazibuko reveal their award from the Swiss Chefs.
Photo Credit: David Sandison