It’s time for all South African pizza makers who are aspiring to greatness to enter the annual Global Pizza Challenge. This is the platform for perfect pizza pizazz – and the chance to win the top prize of a trip to Melbourne – Australia to take part in the world finals of the Global Pizza Challenge 2013.

Entries must include a commercially-viable recipe in one of five categories: chicken or meat; vegetarian; seafood; speciality or dessert; and best Tabasco pizza, which carries a separate prize of R10 000 cash from Tabasco as a top sponsor of the competition. Other sponsors who ensure the success of the competition are TABASCOas naming right sponsor, Prenox, HOSTEX, CTIA (Culinary Training and Innovation Academy), Tafelstern Crockery, Bandini Cheese, Braeside Butchery, MJ Events Gear, Expovent Evolutions, Roast & Grind and Knorr Tomato Pronto.

Entries must be in by 7 March and the South African finals will be held at Hostex at the Sandton Convention Centre from 17 to 20 March.

This popular competition was founded to promote and encourage culinary innovation within the world’s most popular food sector – pizza. It has been running for five years and each year draws a larger number of highly innovative recipes culminating in a nail-biting cook-off at Hostex. The South African Chefs Association (SACA) endorses the competition, which is open to all individual pizza makers – from stand-alone pizzerias, restaurants, take-away outlets, and hotels.

The recipe entries will be assessed by a panel of chefs drawn from the Academy of Chefs, an honour society within SACA, and judged on their originality, balance, creativity, and excitement factor. About 30 finalists will be selected and invited to recreate their recipes at Hostex in Johannesburg.

These finalists will then battle it out in paired cook offs for the duration of the expo until the grand finale. Acclaimed local chefs will decide who will take the title of South African Global Pizza Challenge champion.

The judging line-up includes Martin Kobald, Honorary President of SACA and UN – World Food Program Ambassador – Africa and Arnold Tanzer, former Continental Director of the World Association of Chefs (WACS) for Africa and the Middle East and Culinary Producer for MasterChef South Africa. Other judges include members of the Academy of Chefs.

Ostrich has been the flavour of the day for the winners of the past two competitions. Kurt Quadflieg of Panarotti’s won top honours in 2012 with an Ostrich Carpaccio pizza, and Pete Goffe-Wood, MasterChef SA judge, took top honours in 2011 for his Cape Malay-inspired Ostrich Bobotie pizza, presented on a pale ale base and created with home-made peach chutney and Tomato Pronto chakalaka sauce.

“We’re always delighted by the innovation and expertise that is revealed for the duration of the cook-offs at Hostex,” says Martin Kobald. “South African pizza makers are world class – not only in their pizza making skills, but also in their wholehearted enjoyment of all things pizza! This challenge has made a difference to the pizza profile in this country, and we’ve no doubt that this year’s competition will up the pizza benchmark yet again. Good luck to all entrants – and the judges look forward to truly great pizza tastings.”

To download an entry form, go to www.globalpizzachallenge.com

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