Several top South African chefs and personalities as well as an award-winning UK chef will take to the stage when The Plant Powered Show returns to the Cape Town International Convention Centre from May 26 to 28.
They include the highly respected English chef, writer and presenter Tom Hunt; the iconic and much-loved Jenny Morris; plant-based African food educator Jane Nshuti; Chef’s Table Cape Town founder Santi Louzan; Western Cape wild foods expert Loubie Rusch; chef, food stylist and editor of TFG’s MyKitchen magazine, Chad January; head baker and owner of vegan bakery Cinnamon Club, Jacques Kruger; qualified nutritional therapist and naturopath, Aliya Ferguson; Sunshine Food Co. founder Elisha Madzivadondo; classically trained French chef Damian Jardim; ex-Delaire Graff Estate and Boschendal chef Christiaan Campbell; Carin Brink, co-founder of the vegan sushi restaurant Plushi, and Eugene Volkov, executive chef at WE Café.
The Plant Powered Show is aimed at anyone with an interest in food, health, wellness, the environment or more conscious living, as well as the trade, including retail, restaurant, hotel and hospitality establishments, local distributors and exporters, looking for innovative, high quality products.
Apart from the exciting line-up of chefs who will entertain with live demos, the three day event will also feature diverse and compelling talks by leading health and wellness experts, interactive experiences, exclusive industry networking and a marketplace stocked with plant-based food, drink and conscious living products.
One of the highlights will undoubtedly be the interactive masterclasses which will feature chefs and award-winning mixologists hosting interactive, hands-on food and drink workshops. The presenters for these masterclasses, as well as the speakers for the Health & Wellness Talks element of the show, will be announced shortly.
Heidi Warricker, Founder and CEO of Live Events Africa, and organiser of The Plant Powered Show says, “One of the biggest trends worldwide is sustainability and food awareness and this is where The Plant Powered Show is bang on target. People are becoming increasingly interested in what they are eating, where it comes from and the effects their diets have on the environment. Chefs are sourcing better produce and using locally sourced ingredients and smaller producers which can only be beneficial for our health and our planet.”
The Plant Powered Show sponsors include Cape Talk, Checkers, presenting sponsor of The Checkers Plant Kitchen, powered by Simple Truth; McCain Foods, presenting sponsor of the Health & Wellness Talks and Category sponsor in The Checkers Plant Kitchen, powered by Simple Truth. Supported by SA Chefs, The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA),The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA), SANHA – the South African National Halaal Authority, ProVeg SA and Beauty Without Cruelty.
This year, The Plant Powered Show will also make its long-awaited Gauteng debut when it takes place at the Kyalami International Convention Centre from August 4 to 6. Further details to be released soon.
MEET THE CHEFS TAKING PART IN THE CAPE TOWN SHOW (in alphabetical order)
Aliya is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and Naturopath who loves her subject with a passion that is infectious. Through her own personal journey to achieve optimum health she is able to help others begin their own journey on the same path. As a mother of two active boys, one of her key interests has been cultivating the most healthful habits in the next generation.
Her love for the planet, sustainability and social consciousness continues to fuel her desire to live in harmony with her environment and encourage others to do the same. This holistic approach is the essence in all of Aliya’s projects, workshops, articles and talks.
Carin is a nature enthusiast with a passion for sustainability. While doing her Masters in Environmental Science, Sustainability and Society in 2020, she also co-founded Plushi, a zero waste, vegan sushi restaurant in Cape Town that seeks to uncover the very best plant based sushi through creative experimentation with vegan and Asian cuisine.
Chad January is a kitchen connoisseur with a long list of achievements in the media industry, including his current position as Editor of TFG’s MyKitchen magazine. He was named the 2020 Galliova ‘Up & Coming Food Writer of the Year’ while he was the Deputy Food Editor for Fresh Living magazine. He hosted three seasons of SABC3’s Yum.Me, a cooking show for kids, was the co-host of the Afrikaans cooking show Spyskaart on SABC2, and has worked behind-the-scenes cooking and styling on numerous food TV shows.
Chad is a graduate of the esteemed Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch in 2014 and has done stints at award-winning restaurants La Colombe and The Test Kitchen.
Christiaan Campbell, best known for his legendary tenures at Delaire Graff Estate and Boschendal, is a chef who genuinely cares for produce, people and the planet. He has been a trailblazer in the industry with his current mission being to assist business and industry in a regenerative way through his latest venture, Living Exchanges, which is currently operating from Temenos Retreat in McGregor.
Damian Jardim is a classically trained French chef, having successfully completed his culinary studies at the esteemed Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch. His culinary expertise is fuelled by a profound passion for sustainable, whole food plant-based cuisine, which he believes has the power to heal the body, mind and soul.
As a private chef, he remains steadfast in his commitment to creating exceptional dining experiences that are both wholesome and nourishing. At the heart of his culinary philosophy lies an integrative approach, one that blends the art of cooking with mindfulness and sensory awareness. By adopting a holistic and fully embodied approach to his craft, Jardim is able to create culinary masterpieces that not only delight the taste buds but also nurture the soul.
Sunshine Food Co. founder Elisha Madzivadondo has been a vegan since childhood in Zimbabwe. Having relocated to South Africa 20 years ago and working his way from a guesthouse butler to a cook, he has established a business that echoes his healthy eating habits.
He says, “Sprouts and micro-greens don’t have to be garnish, that’s where the nutrients are.”
By using them as the main elements in Sunshine Food Co.’s plant-based dishes, he’s advocating for more conscious eating, where fertilisers and pesticides don’t enter the ingredients, we consume. With a small eatery in Sea Point and stands at weekend markets, Sunshine Food Co. is already a big hit on the Cape Town food scene and regulars rate the vegan burger as the best in town.
Elisha says it has to do with it being homemade, not laboratory related. Wraps and bun-less burgers go down just as well, drizzled with his secret fermented lemon sauce and freshly pressed juices and smoothies offer an additional health kick. As far as possible, everything at Sunshine Food Co. is organic, with much of it produced on a plot of land Elisha farms in Pinelands.
Eugene Volkov is a chef with a rich culinary experience from modern avant-garde establishments to authentic folk restaurants. The executive chef at WE Café, Volkov considers veganism and reasonable consumption to be the main directions of development of the modern food industry.
Head baker and owner of vegan bakery Cinnamon Club, Jacques Kruger says he always wanted to eat healthier so he was delighted to discover that he could still enjoy his favourite sweet treats while making sure they remained good for him. He opened The Cinnamon Club
to make perfect, indulgent and wholesome cakes and pastries so that people could still look and feel their best, whilst eating all the delicious food and cake they want and love! The Cinnamon Club’s products are 100% vegan & gluten free with almost all of them now available refined sugar free.
Jane Nshuti is a plant-based African food educator and founder of Tamu by Jane. She has a desire to nourish stomachs, souls and minds and her recipes and food philosophies intertwine to deliver knowledge about food security, community and a passion for African foodways. Nshuti has overcome great adversity to make a positive impact by helping families eat healthier meals while embracing their African heritage.
Jenny Morris, aka the ‘Giggling Gourmet’, is one of SA’s most-loved food personalities. She is an author, radio and TV presenter, celebrity chef, caterer, restaurateur and culinary tour guide who has had an ongoing love affair with food since she was a child. Not only has she conquered radio but Jenny has made several television appearances both locally and internationally. Her first show for the Food Network was Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco and her most recent was From the Heart with Jenny Morris.
Loubie Rusch has been exploring the Western Cape’s forgotten and neglected indigenous edibles since 2010. Her shift from the landscape industry to exploring local indigenous food plants started with cooking and bottling produce under the brand name Making KOS. She has been championing the need to cultivate Cape edibles as crops since 2016 and contributes to a variety of research and community projects.
She shares her learning through consulting, workshops, social media and publishing. She founded Local WILD to be a networking, knowledge co-creation and collaboration hub that contributes to reintegrating local indigenous foods into local foodways.
Born in the north west of Spain, Louzan grew up with the best of produce, learning from generations of artisans, paternal family farmers and maternal family fisherman. His passion for food and cooking was ignited from a very young age when his grandmother taught him a lesson he never forgot, “love the ingredients”. In his teens, the family moved to England where his first job was washing plates in a kitchen. From there, he worked his way up the ladder, ending up in Michelin Star establishments around the UK in a career spanning nearly 20 years.
Louzan fell in love with South Africa when visiting for the 1995 Rugby World Cup and decided to move to Cape Town to launch a more personal style format of dining and opened Chef’s Table as a fine dining social food excusive experience. Using his Michelin background, Louzan hopes to create food that is beautiful to look at, but more importantly, to invoke pleasure.
Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, writer and presenter whose approach to food is rooted in its connection to climate change, championing a way of eating that prioritises the environment without sacrificing pleasure, taste and nutrition. He is the author of the cookbook Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet and writes about food and the environment in magazines and newspapers including a weekly recipe column for the Guardian called ‘Waste Not’. Hunt has 20 years’ experience in food, agriculture and sustainability, working with chefs, farmers, academics, charities and nutritionists as a food educator and facilitator.
He opened his first restaurant – Poco – in Bristol, winning several awards, including Best Ethical Restaurant at the Observer Food Monthly Awards. In 2011 he founded the Forgotten Feast, a social enterprise promoting sustainable food through dining and celebration. He works closely with various charities including Fareshare, Fairtrade and The Soil Association, and is a signatory of the Chef’s Manifesto, a United Nations SDG2 initiative that calls on chefs around the world to champion climate-friendly cuisine in their kitchens for a more diverse and sustainable future.