… by entering their Chef Talent Scout Competition

If you are an aspiring chef or want a change of career, then enter Capsicum Culinary Studio’s Chef Talent Scout Competition to stand the chance of winning one of six bursaries – with the combined value of R740 000 – including the ultimate prize of a three-year bursary towards the study of the school’s Advanced Culinary Arts Programme valued at R200 000.

The other five prizes will be one-year bursaries for a Professional Chef Programme or Professional Patisserie Programme, awarded to regional finalists to study at one of Capsicum Culinary Studio’s six campuses across the country – Boksburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, and Rosebank (Johannesburg).

To enter the competition, contestants must create a dish – sweet or savoury – using a red capsicum pepper or any other red ingredient; take a good, clear photo of the finished dish and upload it onto their Instagram page, tagging @Capsicumcooking and using the hashtag #CapsicumTalent. Entrants must be 17 years of age or older.

The competition closes at midnight on Monday, November 30, 2020 with the names of the 10 finalists from each region announced on Wednesday, December 9, 2020.

Those finalists will then be invited to participate in a cook-off on January 20, 2021, at the Capsicum campus closest to them, where they will have to prepare the dish they entered, using their own ingredients.

The winner from each campus will then compete in a cook-off to be held at Capsicum’s Rosebank campus for the final cook-off on Saturday, February 6, 2021, where they will have to create the ultimate dish using ingredients from a mystery basket.  (Travel to Gauteng will be sponsored for those living outside the province.)

Says Capsicum Culinary Studio’s Academic Head Candice Adams: “This is an amazing opportunity for six individuals who are interested in cooking to realise their dreams of studying towards a career in the hospitality industry at one of South Africa’s best culinary schools.”

Adams reminds entrants that they must enter an image of their red dish on Instagram and tag #CapsicumTalent and @Capsicumcooking in order to qualify. 

All details as well as Ts & Cs can be found at https://www.capsicumcooking.com/chef-talent-scout.

To get the creative juices flowing here are a couple of recipes with red ingredients:

Stuffed Red Peppers for the Braai:


  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 140g long grain rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 350g vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch spring onions thinly sliced
  • 140g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 150g ball mozzarella, chopped
  • 140g gorgonzola
  • handful each of parsley and basil chopped
  • 6 red peppers (or you can use 3 red and 3 yellow peppers)
  • tin foil

Heat the oil in a medium pan and fry the pine nuts until lightly toasted, then add the rice and fry until the grains are glossy. Stir in the garlic then add the stock and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the rice is soft. Remove from the heat, cool slightly and stir in the spring onions, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, gorgonzola and fresh herbs. Season well and leave to cool.
Carefully cut around the top of the peppers and remove and set aside. Remove the seeds and membrane.
Spoon some of the stuffing into the pepper cavity, taking care not to overfill.
Replace the top of the pepper with the stalk and wrap pepper tightly in tin foil.
Place the tin foil parcels amongst the coals and braai the stuffed peppers for about 10-15  minutes.
Remove from coals with tongs and wait for foil to cool before unwrapping.


Red Velvet Cupcakes


  • 450g cake flour 
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 300g sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbls red food colouring
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200g buttermilk
  • 1½ tsp white vinegar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder

For the Cream Cheese Icing

  • 130g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 500g cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 550g icing sugar
  • Strawberries and mint leaves for decoration

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray
Combine butter and sugar and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until very light and fluffy (5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, whisk the food colouring and vanilla together then add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well. Stir the salt into the buttermilk and add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the cake flour, starting and ending with flour. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and baking soda; add to the batter and mix well.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter and bake in preheated oven for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.

For the Cream Cheese Icing
In a large bowl mix together the butter, cream cheese, salt and vanilla until smooth. Add icing sugar one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pipe icing onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with sliced strawberries and mint leaves.

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