Inter Hotel Challenge Winners for 2017 announced at glittering awards function

This was the 5th year of the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge - and it has gone from strength to strength, with this year bringing nearly 30 hotels together - putting forward their top chef and wine steward candidates to compete against each other during the year, as well as having on the job experience at wineries and distillers and training given to the Wine Stewards by the Sommelier Academy.
This was a tough competition with some of the 2016 competitors trying again this year and for some it was really successful, with Grant Melikhaya Sondezi from the One&Only making 3rd position in the Wine Steward category and Nkululeko Khohlokoane receiving the Most Promising Wine Steward.  He and his candidate chef from the CTICC both received the Most Promising awards and they were totally over the moon!
Michelle Swart, this year's winning Wine Steward from the Lord Charles also competed last year and she was totally delighted with her win.  The NH Lord Charles team did really well, with their chef candidate - Gizelle Els - achieving 2nd place in the Best Chef category!  Well done to the Lord Charles for their achievements!
Top Chef position went to Eugene Ramcharan from “Beverly Hills”.
The competition gets tougher and tougher every year -- and there were a few disappointed candidates in the room, but I am sure that they will use this competition as a catalyst to work harder and make this the start of their educational journey into the world of food and wine!

Well done again to Annette Kesler and Chania Morritt-Smith of - who arrange this prestigious Oscars of the Hotel industry in South Africa.  Richard Rushton, MD of Distell - the title sponsor - reiterated the fact that the hospitality and tourist industries play a major role in making wine accessible to the consumer, and he was totally committed to ensuring that they continue to support this initiative which raises the knowledge levels of wine stewards and sommeliers.
There are many very generous sponsors for this competition, and the winners are incredibly lucky to have these industry giants supporting them.