(From left) Tony Balabanoff, CLHG divisional director: operations; Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, CLHG chief operating officer; Heinz Brunner, SA Chefs honorary president; Zuki Jantjies, CLHG divisional director: sales & marketing
The bi-annual awards were launched in 2016 and are made every two years to only a handful of individuals who have had a far-reaching impact on South Africa’s culinary and hospitality landscape. Recipients include hoteliers, chefs, food and beverage professionals, training providers and cookbook authors. Criteria include 25+ years of service dedicated to inspiring others and ensuring excellence in everything they do to improve and shape the hospitality industry.
Clifford was unable to attend and sent through a message of heartfelt gratitude. Lindiwe received her award and medal in the presence of fellow directors Zuki Jantjies and Tony Balabanoff and the cream of the hospitality and culinary industry. It was an evening of recognition, camaraderie and celebration, during a seven-course dinner.
“Having spent 44 wonderful years in the hospitality industry, it is indeed a great honour and privilege to be recognised by the SA Chefs Association and I am sincerely humbled by this magnanimous gesture,” says Clifford.
Lindiwe says she was taken by surprise at receiving this award, adding, “As the medal was hung around my neck by Chef Stephen Billingham, my eyes brimmed with tears of joy as I remembered my father asking me 33 years ago whether I had lost my mind when I explained to him I wanted a career in hotels.”
Fellow President’s Awards 2018 recipients include:
- Gillian Saunders, special advisor to the Minister of Tourism and previously deputy CEO, head of advisory services and global leader for hospitality and tourism at Grant Thornton
- Sharmaine Dixon a.k.a. Chef Dixie, chef, lecturer and entrepreneur, and past owner of 1000 Hills Chefs School in KwaZulu-Natal
- Dr Reinie Mornet, veteran hotelier and past director of the Technikon of Witwatersrand Hotel School, which relocated and was renamed the School of Tourism & Hospitality at the University of Johannesburg
- Gilbert Lebea, previously assistant lecturer in mass catering at the School of Tourism & Hospitality and prior to that a cook in the main kitchen at the Hotel School Hostel in Smit Street
- Vijay Loosen, national sales and marketing director of Sir Fruit, and veteran retailer to the hospitality industry
- Peter Dalzell, Tsebo Solutions Group head of learning and development, responsible for the development of some 40,000 staff across four sectors and three SETAs