Heritage Day Potjiekos Challenge at Noordhoek Farm Village

Celebrate Braai Day with a uniquely Mzansi tradition at this annual cook-off in Cape Town’s ‘northern corner’


After resounding successes in 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Noordhoek Farm Village once more marries culinary expertise and South African tradition at its annual Heritage Day Potjiekos (poi-kee-kaws) Challenge on Wednesday, 24 September 2014.

The cook-off invites all master potjie chefs to come battle it out Olympic Games style over an open fire and in support of a good cause.

Contestants who craft the best tasting, truly South African potjie stand a chance to take home the gold, silver or bronze medals as well as a hearty helping of bragging rights.

Though, this Heritage Day affair isn’t limited to only those slaving away over their steaming, three-legged cast iron pots; visitors can sample each potjie and can perhaps even sway the judges’ opinions. Samples will be for sale at R30 per container (and rice, eco-friendly containers and utensils for eating will be provided), and the proceeds of the sales go to a nominated charity.

This year’s beneficiary is the Ocean View Open Door Project’s soup kitchen. This local initiative provides food and counselling to children in the area and hosts activities to keep the youngsters off the streets and safe.

HOW THE 2014 HERITAGE DAY POTJIEKOS CHALLENGE AT NOORDHOEK FARM VILLAGE WORKS

There is no entry fee to participate and no limit to how many people can be on a team. Teams must be self sufficient, bringing their own pots (size four or higher), utensils, and ingredients on the day; make sure your ingredients are prepped to go, as there are no electrical points. The Noordhoek Farm Village will provide the fires for the potjies, and the coals will be ready for cooking over from 10am.

That gives contestants five hours in which to cook and present their perfect potjiekos for judging at 3pm.

The final round of judging happens at 4:30pm and is followed by the prize giving; accolades will not only be awarded to the top three tasty potjies, but also to the best dressed team: the theme, as always, is ‘Proudly South African’ or ‘South African Heritage’.

ENTRIES FOR THE 2014 HERITAGE DAY POTJIEKOS CHALLENGE AT NOORDHOEK FARM VILLAGE

Entries for the challenge have closed due to the very limited space. For those keen to join in the 2015 competition, applications open towards the end of July and entries must be sent to info@noordhoekvillage.co.za with the team name, contact details and a short motivation as to why your squad should be included in the roster. Visit Blog.NoordhoekVillage.co.za for more information.

THE HISTORY OF POTJIEKOS IN SOUTH AFRICA

The direct translation for potjiekos is “small pot food”. This stew-like Mzansi favourite has a rich history that reaches back to the early days of colonial South Africa. The concept of cooking everything in one pot comes from a traditional Dutch dish called hutspot or hotchpotch, and the method of stewing everything together in cast iron pots and baking bread over open fires was brought to SA’s sunny shores when these European settlers made a home in South Africa.

The traditional recipes include meat, vegetables, starches and, on some occasions, a dash or three of alcohol – typically beer, sherry or dessert wine – and the slow-cooked creation is served with rice. These days, this age-old cooking style has become a revered pastime and is more of a social event than a need to feed the masses. Most potjiekos “chefs” enjoy explaining their tried-and-tested techniques and swapping countless tips and tricks of the trade around the fire.

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Check out what else is on the cards for Heritage Day or have a squiz at our guide of annual September events to find out about more hot happenings taking place during the month.
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