With over 40 000 public votes cast in the 2017 Coca-Cola Food Festival to select the regional semi-finalists representing South Africa’s favourite eateries, the public has a chance to sample these delights in person.
Two regional semi-final events will offer great food and entertainment for the entire family. The KwaZulu-Natal event will be held on Saturday at People’s Park near the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, and will represent regional finalists from the Eastern Cape and KZN.
Channel Development Specialist at Coco-Cola Beverages SA, Ezile Bubu said: “The Coca-Cola Food Festival is a celebration of great South African food. More importantly, it represents food that South Africans love as the public nominates and then to vote for their favourite restaurants and eateries. Experienced chefs only become involved in judging the restaurants when they reach the semi-finals and finals”.
With its first year running the Durban event represents KZN and the EC restaurants with fifteen semi-finalists competing. Eight of these are from KZN and seven are from the EC.
Bubu said the scale of all different eateries across SA is enormous, so they introduced three different levels.
“The range of food is wide and varied. For example, a steak can be served as a steak sandwich from your favourite takeaway to a juicy steak at a shisanyama or a French-style filet mignon at a fine dining restaurant”, she said.
The three different levels introduced are: On the go; meals can be eaten at the off the premises and will include takeaways, cafes, food trucks and small hole-in-the-wall establishments. Traditional; plated meals can be eaten at the premises and could range from shebeen’s to shisanyama’s, pubs, coffee shops and range of restaurants. Gourmet; meals are defined as specifically cuisine dishes typically found at the fine dining restaurants.
“The event promises a fun day out with entertainment for the whole family, so we are expecting a good number of people to attend.
Durbanites are well known for their love of food so we hope they will show their support for the semi-finalist on Saturday. In South Africa’s multi-cultured society we are exposed to an endless array of exciting tastes and flavours. Every day ordinary men and women produce extraordinary food for people living in their communities. This event is important to us because it will shine a spotlight on these unsung food heroes and will showcase their utterly delicious food. Our hope is that this event will be the start of a national food route, which will see people from other provinces making a point of visiting these eateries when they are travelling”, said Bubu.
She said the judges will be looking at presentation and style, but the most important criteria of the competition remains taste.
He winner in each category from the Durban and Johannesburg semi-finals will compete in the finals in Johannesburg on 21 September and the twelve finalist representing the top three meal categories selected in Durban and Johannesburg will each receive R22 500. The Finalist in each category will receive R150 000. 60% of this amount will be paid in cash and a further 40% will be used to upgrade the eatery. The event will start at 10am until 7pm with tickets available at Computicket at R100 per person and a 50% discount applies for pensioners and entry for children under twelve is free.