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Ghana Makes Historic Debut at IKA/Culinary Olympics in Germany with Chef Malan of Fiesta Hospitality Group and Chef Ines

Ghana is set to make a debut appearance at the 26th edition of the IKA/Culinary Olympics, the world‘s largest international exhibition for culinary skills.

Taking place from February 2 to 7, the event sees participation by professional chefs from all over the world – be they young or master chefs – who are invited to compete against one another in a fair team competition.

From Africa, participation has usually been by members of the South African Chef Association (SACA). However, this year, as part of a post Covid recovery and development strategy, the ‘Green and Gold’ team opted out to prepare better to return in 2028, when the next event takes place.

In his capacity as the current Group Executive Chef for Fiesta Hospitality Group (owners of the Fiesta Royale Hotel and Fiesta Residences) in Ghana, sterling SACA member Chef Pieter Malan, backed by the hotel, earned a spot through sheer determination.

(An award-winning chef renowned for his culinary prowess, Chef Malan is formerly recognized for his television and radio ventures in South Africa, and has embraced a new chapter in his career, building quite a reputation for creating with unique African flavors and cooking techniques, curating culinary experiences using such diverse local ingredients as nkontomire, hibiscus, hweintia and the alasa fruit, among others.

A true athlete of the culinary discipline, Chef Malan has a mission to create exquisite African food that can compete proudly on world stages.
At a send-off ceremony hosted at ‘The Grillroom Restaurant’ located inside Fiesta Residences – Boutique Hotel & Serviced Apartments, where he operates from, he shared some of his appealing recipes and presentations to the delight of the invited guests at the event.

“I want to be able to inspire, and I am just truly relieved that some African flavors will be showcased at IKA this year,” he said on the night.

Pairing up with Chef Malan as an Apprentice Chef, Ines Martha Nana Asabea Appenteng, a young talented Ghanaian who is self-sponsored, is fired up to attend the event, which is the largest, oldest and most colorful international exhibition of culinary arts.

Daniel Schade is the President of the German Chefs Association (Verband Der Köche Deutschlands – VKD) organizers of the event. He emphasizes that “no other cooking competition offers an experience more intensively seeped in a display of skill as during the IKA/Culinary Olympics.”
Excited to have young talent from Africa partake in the Culinary Olympics for the first time, he states in his invitation letter to young Chef Ines, who has recently acquired her Swiss Grand Diplôme in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Arts Academy, Le Bouveret in Switzerland, “Anyone following tradition must also keep an eye on the future.”

Demonstrating great skills with passion, Chef Ines, currently understudying Chef Malan, is set to acquire great exposure and experience in the role and is looking forward to the opportunity to gain more knowledge in international cooking standards, which, determined to practice in Ghana, she aims to share with colleagues upon her return, and into her career.

Focusing on teamwork as an integral aspect of their in-house training programs, the Fiesta Hospitality Group, which commemorates 21 years as a hospitality institution, pays particular attention to grooming skill, having successfully trained several hospitality practitioners in the last several years.

Recently named the Most Admired Executive Chef by Hospitality Awards Africa, Chef Pieter, along with his dedicated teams at the Fiesta Hospitality Group have received global acclaim by winning the ‘Best African Restaurant’ and ‘Best Luxury Innovative Restaurant in the World’ at the World Luxury Restaurant Awards.

Flying the Black Star flag, Chef Malan and Chef Ines will join about 1200 other chefs as they face a panel of some 60 international judges to compete in the culinary art division, showing off masterpieces of artistic food sculptures and dishes made with African flavours from Ghana.

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