Participants listen to instructions for their next task.
THE annual Pretoria High School for Girls Spring Fair took place this past weekend and lived up to its reputation for being a great day out for the entire family.

The clear skies and the beautiful school grounds made for a perfect setting for the fair.

Perhaps the most notable feature of the event were the diverse groups of people it attracted, with many coming from afar to support a school they hold dear.

Food stalls were set up around the grounds with an eclectic mix of international dishes on offer - from Indian to Greek and, of course, boerewors rolls.

A highlight of the fair are its events, one being the PHSG Spring Fair Battle of the Chefs.

Teachers, students and family members partnered to battle against each other and the clock, all trying to outdo one another with their culinary skills.

Presiding over the competition was renowned local chef Brett Ladds, who served on the staff of the Presidential Guest House during Nelson Mandela’s time as president.

Judges included chefs from Steyns’ Cullinary School, Prue Leith Chefs Academy and Antoinette’s Cookery School and the University of Pretoria’s Consumer Science Department, who judged the participants’ dishes on creativity, taste and presentation.

Karen Harris said: “We have been organising this event for years and its really great how involved the participants and spectators get.

"We are honoured to have Brett here, his son took part last year and he loved the concept."

There were thrills and spills abound, the pressure of trying to plate up a winning dish on some of the younger participants faces but, importantly, everybody involved had fun.

Spectators also got stuck in, offering advice and encouragement at every opportunity.

Up for grabs were prizes which included dining vouchers from Piza e Vino, shopping vouchers from Spar and treat vouchers from Sorbet. The winning pair won dinner at [email protected], Ladds’ restaurant in Garsfontein.

The fair had a little something for everybody: gumboot dancers began an impromptu performance and pretty soon a healthy crowd was cheering them on.

On another corner a group of girls showed off their dance moves and the boys high pipers made their traditional appearance. - Vusi Adonis