The Durban International Convention Centre’s Executive Chef, John Moatshe, was awarded the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Brass Plaque/Blazon on Friday evening for his achievements in the culinary field. The accolade is presented to a chef who maintains a superb level of cuisine, hospitality and service, as required by the exacting standards of the association.
The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1248 and has more than 25,000 members in over 70 countries around the world. The association promotes the art of fine cuisine and supports the development of young culinary professionals.
“We are extremely proud of Chef John and the way he has distinguished himself by this outstanding culinary achievement”, commented Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the Durban ICC. The sought-after brass plaque/Blazon is the highest accolade conferred by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs committee and has only been awarded to a Chef in KwaZulu Natal on three other occasions. Ellingson, herself a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, added “This recognition is another milestone in the Centre’s proud culinary history and shows that we remain committed to maintaining our superb standards of cuisine and hospitality.”
Chef Moatshe was a member of the original team which opened the Durban ICC in 1997 and started in the position of Chef Saucier before rising through the ranks to become Executive Chef in 2009. He has travelled extensively on exchange programmes with other international convention centres, including Kuala Lumpur, Adelaide and Qatar, imparting his knowledge and his passion for African Cuisine. “As a long standing member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs it is indeed an honour to receive this kind of recognition from my peers. Since taking the reins as the Centre’s Executive Chef, we have come a long way in improving our culinary offering, particularly in showcasing African Cuisine of the highest standard”, commented Moatshe.
The plaque was presented at a dinner for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ local chapter, the Balliage de KwaZulu Natal, by the chapter’s Bailli, Kevin Joseph, and the Vice-Chancelier Philip Mostert. The event was a spectacular affair with an African theme, hosted in one of the Durban ICC’s outdoor venues, the Fig Tree Courtyard. The Centre’s chefs produced an extravagant menu of African culinary delights second to none and guests were treated to live entertainment from fire jugglers, stilt-walkers and the sultry sounds Philani Ngidi’s jazz ensemble.
The Centre’s Executive Sous Chef, Desmond Davies, was also presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Balliage’s committee in recognition of the exceptional evening which the Durban ICC had organized.