Grobbelaar and Vergelegen cook up support for Davos

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Categories : Travel news

The ski slopes of Davos, Switzerland, may seem a long haul from the lush vineyards of Somerset West, but for Vergelegen Restaurant executive chef Henrico Grobbelaar the transition was just part of the job.

The 30-year-old, who made headlines when chosen as the 2009 Sunday Times chef of the year, got a surprise call to join a group of South African chefs working behind the scenes at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

The local culinary team supported the drive by the International Marketing Council of SA (IMC) to position the country as a competitive investment destination and dominant developing economy. They also took advantage of the world's focus on the country as host of the 2010 World Cup.

Dr Pranill Ramchander, media relations manager of Anglo American, which owns Vergelegen, explained that the group was approached by Business Leadership SA and the IMC to partner with the government to present a 2010 Team SA.

Anglo American SA corporate sponsorship totalled R3-million and included presenting Vergelegen wines at the South African bar, and the opportunity for Grobbelaar to join the team preparing the feast for the Davos delegation.

The young chef gathered his passport and kitchen smalls and caught a flight out on 24 January.

"We were delighted at this opportunity to showcase Vergelegen's excellent wines and culinary talent at such a prestigious global gathering," said Vergelegen MD Don Tooth.

The SA partnership in Davos included the Presidency, the IMC, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Business Leadership South Africa, Discovery, Old Mutual, Absa, Telkom, Nedbank, MTN, Sasol, Investec, Transnet and First Rand.

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