They flip, mix, shake, crush and pour with the ease of the champions they are. These are the world’s best bartenders, who kick off their unforgettable Bartender of the Year journey at The Maslow on August 28.

18 August 2015 – South Africa’s finest mixologists, whose cocktail making skills will leave you breathless, will be among the bartenders fighting for the “best bartender in the world” slot.
This will include South Africa’s number one bartender, Dom De Lorenzo – who will represent us at WORLD CLASS 2015.
In a distinguished class of his own, and playing host to the 57 bartender entrants to WORLD CLASS from around the world, is Steven Saunders, 28, food and beverage manager at Sun International’s Maslow Hotel.
Steven’s own bar tending skills are legendary. He can whip up a Margherita, crush a Mojito or pour a Manhattan with the finesse of an expert.
The Mojito’s proportion of rum, sugar, lime juice and mint to sparkling water will be just right; the edge of your Margherita glass salted to perfection. Its what he does. Its what he loves doing best. Its what he’s best known for: the perfect cocktail.
Steven began his career studying to be an engineer, and, to earn pocket money, he worked as a bartender in a small German bar.
“I realized that engineering was not for me. I preferred my time behind the bar, interacting with guests.”
So he made the switch and began a hospitality management degree, winning top academic student title as well as top overall student in South Africa.
He’s very good at his job as food and beverage manager, but he says: “My first love is, and always will be, bartending. My progress in the management of properties hasn’t changed that. Whenever I get the opportunity, I jump behind what has quickly become Sandton’s most popular bar, The Lacuna, and help out my bartenders.”
Steven’s work has seen him travel to 30 countries in Europe and eight in Africa.  “This field does not confine you to a single role but opens up endless possibilities of what you can do,” he says.
Steven adds that the chance to work at the luxurious urban sanctuary that is Sun International’s flagship hotel, The Maslow – with its exclusive clientele - makes it all even more special.
Come and sample Steven’s mixology skills at The Maslow’s Lacuna bar. The Maslow, the preferred home of top international businessmen and those seeking luxurious refuge in Africa’s economic hub, will host the 57 WORLD CLASS finalists from around the world.

Please see below a link to a video of the world-class quality of mixology found at The Maslow Hotel:

When it comes to deluxe business hotels in Sandton, Johannesburg, The Maslow is renowned for offering premier 4-star Sandton accommodation for business travellers. The Maslow is located in Sandton’s financial district, only a few minutes away from the Sandton Gautrain station, Sandton City mall and Nelson Mandela Square. With modern conference facilities and meeting rooms, Sun International’s The Maslow is Sandton’s premium business hotel. Superior comfort, relaxation and elegance are guaranteed when staying at this high-end hotel in Sandton.

The Lacuna Bistro and Bar is one of the best restaurants in Sandton, its speciality - locally sourced bistro-style cuisine. Offering more than simply breakfast, lunch and dinner, Lacuna patrons enjoy an inspired à la carte menu.
The Lacuna Bar at The Maslow Hotel is also a hot spot for after-work cocktails, or informal meetings. Whatever your dining needs, The Maslow Hotel has some of the best restaurants in Sandton.

Issued by Nine Squared Communications and Events on behalf of Sun International

National Chef of the Year finalists

The Unilever Food Solutions Chef of the Year finalists have been named after three gruelling regional finals were held in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban – and now stand to win their share of the total of R120 000 in prize money at the competition finals in Durban on 10 September.

The Chef of the Year competition categories includes Senior Chef of the Year; Junior Chef of the Year; Creative Canapés andConfectionary Showcase and Team of Four

Senior finalists:

  • Jade Van Der Spuy from 1000 Hills Chefs School (Durban)

  • Deon Kemp from Durban Country Club (Durban)

  • Darcy Els Saxon Boutique Hotel Villas and Spa (Johannesburg)

  • Hanno Van Eeden from Diep in die Berg (Pretoria)

  • Henrico Johan Grobbelaar from Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town (Cape Town)

  • Shaun Bruce from Sun Square Hotel (Cape Town)

Junior finalists:

  • Dominique Hobson from La Petite Chef (Johannesburg)

  • Terro Lekopa from Saxon Boutique Hotel Villas and Spa (Johannesburg)

  • Michaela Van Der Merwe from Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa (Cape Town)

  • Emma Mccullough from 1000 Hills Chefs School (Durban)

  • Kayla-Ann Osborn from Traffords (Pietermaritzburg)

Creative Canapés finalists:

  • Candice Jordaan from Fusion World Food Café (Durban)

  • Peter Venter from Diakonia Council of Churches (Durban)

  • Yatish Bipulprasad from FEDICS Toyota (Durban)

  • Richard Alexander from Ellis 1000 Hills Chefs School (Durban)

  • Sibanda Lesego from Zacharia Leriba Hotel and Spa (Cape Town)

  • Edward Marcus from Hamman Hilton Hotel Sandton (Johannesburg)

Confectionery showcase finalists:

  • Michael Mthembu from Fairmont Zimbali Resort (Durban)

  • Zandria De Nobrega from Fusion World Food Café (Durban)

  • Belinda Juanita from Moolman Protea Hotel Centrurion (Pretoria)

  • Cherry Pin from Sandton Hotel Hilton (Johannesburg)

  • Melicia Danielle Naicker from College of Cape Town (Cape Town)

  • Ayesha Bibi Juwaley from One and Only Hotel(Cape Town)

The Team of Four finalists

  • From Umdoni Village Hibiscus Retirement Village - Virginia Dougherty, Victoria Shozi, Kim bagshaw, Sety Dhlomo (Durban)

  • From Capitol Caterers - Niki Doman, Laura Morton, Paula Heuff and Jo Harper (Durban)

  • From Elangeni Maharani Hotel - Shaun Munro, Prenolan Naidoo, Clinton Bonhomme and Justin Sewpershad (Durban)

  • From The Table Bay Hotel Stelios - Kenneth Clive Barnard, Amari De Jager, Zane Josephus and Samantha Swartz (Cape Town)

  • From Western Province Caterers - Siyolo Vokwana, James Thomas, Malcom Mitchelson and Michael Nicholas (Cape Town)

  • From The Capital Hotel School and Training Academy - Liza Strauss, Jerusha Foster, Charlene Makasane and Michael Knight (Pretoria)

  • From Waterfront Country Lodge - Lesley Leijdekkers, Mpati Mofokeng, Sophie Hlobo and Tumi Morabe (Johannesburg)

Prizes for the categories are R15 000 for first place, R10 000 for second place and R5 000 for third place in Senior Chef of the Year; R10 000 for first, R 6 000 for second, and R4 000 for third in Junior Chef of the Year; R 20 000 for first, R12 000 for second, and R8 000 for third in Team of Four; R10 000 for first, R4 000 for second, and R2 000 for third in Creative Canapés; and R10 000 for first, R4 000 for second, and R2 000 for third in the Confectionary Showcase category.


This year, for the first time, the competition was endorsed by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and a WACS-accredited judge are overseeing the judging delegation as well as the overall judging procedure, taking the Chef of the Year to the next level in international culinary competition standings.

Unilever Food Solutions Executive Head Chef, Craig Elliott congratulates all the finalists on their achievement, commending them on the creativity, professionalism, and excellent tastes that were evident in the regionals, and wished them luck in the Mystery Basket National Finals to be held in Durban in September. “Our Chef of the Year competition, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, has always attracted a strong field of culinary stars and up and coming stars,” says Elliott. “We’re very proud of the world class standards our chefs have established in South Africa and it is a constant privilege to be able to support them through events such as this competition as well as through our extensive product range, designed to make chefs’ lives easier, without compromising on any quality.”