SA Chefs is a non-profit industry body, founded more than 44 years ago, that represents the interests of chefs, cooks and caterers at all levels, with a focus on skills development, the celebration of culinary professionals and transforming the industry.
SA Chefs aims to have a significant impact on the careers of the chefs with whom we share the knowledge that our members have acquired through international food promotions, competitions, workshops, educational conferences and various other learning experiences. To date we have over 9600 members that include catering and hotel company directors, restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, culinary educators, apprentices and trainees; who can be found in every type of catering field.
The Association produces a bi-monthly magazine called, SA Chef, and takes part in a host of trade and consumer shows, including Food and Hospitality Africa powered by Hostex and National Tourism Careers Expo, demonstrating chefs’ expertise and skill. We host a range of Food and Wine Evenings with top South African chefs and host our own conference, aimed at chefs: Infochef. We are also involved in a range of culinary competitions, including City & Guilds Student’s Challenge, The President’s Cup, Huletts Sweet Young Chef, Lucky Star Innovations competition and many more.
Our South African National Culinary Team, is selected by SA Chefs every four years, culminating in our participation in the IKA Culinary Olympics. Through a process of skills transference and training, the best of the chefs on the squad are selected to represent South Africa in the Culinary Olympics. Team South Africa has been structured in such a way that it will provide for the development and training of young chefs by more experienced chefs who have previously served on the National Team, with the emphasis being on a mentorship programme for the next generation of chefs.
On an international level, the Association has always actively participated in the activities of the World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs) and in 1996 was unanimously voted to hold the offices of president, vice president and secretary general from 1996 to 2000. Not only was this a great honour but also a strong vote of confidence in the ability of the SA Chefs by the more than 60 member countries of World Chefs, which represents over 1,5 million chefs from over 80 countries around the world. Presently, Martin Kobald is the Vice President of Worldchefs.