• South Africa’s biggest culinary extravaganza, the Mzansi Food & Drink Show, is set to take place at the Kyalami International Convention Centre over the long weekend of 15 to 17 June that also includes Father’s Day (June 16) and Youth Day (June 17).

    Visitors to the show will be able to enjoy food and drink tastings, cooking demos, masterclasses, braai competitions, exclusive offers and a marketplace filled with gastronomic delights. It promises to be a fun-filled event, catering for the whole family.

    Highlights during the three-day event include:


    Probably the most popular food festival in South Africa, this year’s event features several unmissable highlights including: The King of the Braai where 10 of the country’s greatest grillers will tussle it out with their tongs to find out who has the best BBQ skills. Three courses must be cooked in a two-hour time limit – a chicken starter, a beef or lamb mains and a braaibroodjie. Toks en Tjops co-presenter Rika Niewoudt is the MC.

    The Butcher Block Challenge will discover the best butcher in Mzansi as competitors, clutching their cleavers and sharpening their knives, carve up the best cuts of meat!

    The Meat Smoke-Off Competition has six teams competing in four meat categories – chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder and brisket. All are given the same cuts of meat and must produce four dishes per category that can take anything from 90 minutes to over 12 hours to complete. Competitors light their fires on Saturday 15 June and serve up their results on Sunday 16 June with winners announced at 17:00 on that day. BraaiBoy is the MC for this smoking hot challenge. There will also be fun competitions for families to take part in and win fabulous prizes.


    A first for Mzansi, this fiery hot festival will feature competitions including: Ring of Fire National Pod Challenge – watch enthusiasts battle it out to see who can handle the heat and emerge victorious? The Hot Wings Challenge – a tongue-tingling competition where the tears may well flow!

    The Best Sauce Challenge asks you to sample an array of zesty sauces and vote for your favourite. From tangy to volcanic, these sauces will set the taste buds ablaze. The Hot Chip Challenge presents the hottest potato chips you’ve ever encountered. Can you stand the burn? Challenge Your Children! Dads, step up this Father’s Day and take on spicy challenges alongside your children. Who will be the ultimate chilli champion in the family?


    Always a favourite with caffeine and cocoa lovers, this year’s events include the highly anticipated Barista Battle Royale in which former champions unite in teams of three for an epic battle in which each member has a specific role; one will craft and present two exquisite espressos, another will create two velvety milk beverages and the third will dazzle with two innovative signature drinks. With only 10 minutes to prove their coffee credentials, the pressure will be intense and the stakes sky-high.

    Also featuring coffee roasting workshops, coffee and chocolate pairings and tastings and chocolate making demonstrations. And, for serious caffeine aficionados, don’t miss the talks on the Coffee Industry by Nicodemus from Zuka Green Coffee; Coffee Equipment by LA Cimbali and Life In Coffee and Entrepreneurship by Tshepo Mokwena, The Bean Hub and Thando Coffee, amongst others. Look out too for loads of prize give-aways from exhibiting companies and product launches.


    Don’t miss multi-award-winning Chef Pieter Malan’s masterclasses on Fine African Indigenous Cuisine or Chef Zana Alvarado, national Chairperson of SA Chefs Women in Culinary, in action. Also a must-see is the South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs) Chef of the Year Gauteng Regional Finals Competition. The cook-off will see 10 participants competing against each other on each of the first two days (June 15 and 16), with the winner from each day going head-to-head in the finals that will happen on Monday, June 17.

    There are two age categories in the competition – a junior division (18 to 27-years old) and a senior division (28 to 45) that will compete in the Hot Kitchen and Pastry categories; and celebrate the Mzansi Junior Chef of the Year competition in which Mzansi youth display their cheffing skills live on Youth Day! And there’s so much more so check out the full three day programme details on The Mzansi Food & Drink Show website.


    Catering for everyone – from exclusive bar owners to students who built their bar out of pallets. Explore and test drive the latest gadgets and immerse yourself in the entertainment of flairtending, where the barmen show off their bottle tossing skills while conjuring up innovative and delicious drinks; join in the mixology classes to bring out the cocktail enthusiast in everyone; partake in the gin and whiskey tastings at the Great Spirits of Mzansi Bar Lounge; and last, but certainly not least, a wine tasting experience with Siwela Wines, a proudly South African, female black-owned wine company.


    The Mzansi Food Market takes the market experience and magnifies it like never before. Stalls of every kind will be offering goods that surprise and delight – from unexpected flavour combinations to innovative production practices. Visit, see, taste and buy.

    Exhibitors include Sausage Saloon, Old School Fudge, Abu Asa Libnan, Baan Bootsbar Thai Cuisine, Pat Thai, Stir Fry Queen, The Boba Crew, Qzinne Pizza & Grill, Waffle O’ Stick, Neo’s Smokey Delish, The Slushy Mocktails, Local to Global Foods Achar, Yum Yum Bubbletea, Lebanese Shawarma, Core Liquids, Tobs Wraps, The Holy Crepe, R&N Bites and Anything Gourmet plus stacks more tantalising treats to tempt the taste buds!

    Tickets for the show can be booked via Howler.co.za

    For more information on the show, visit: The Mzansi Food & Drink Show

    • Kyalami International Convention Centre
    • Saturday, 15 June, from 09h00 to 18h00
    • Sunday, 16 June (Father’s Day) from 09h00 to 18h00
    • Monday, 17 June (Youth Day) from 09h00 to 17h00

    ALSO SEE: Heating up the griddle at the Mzansi Food & Drink Show

    Heating up the griddle at the Mzansi Food & Drink Show

    Images: Supplied