Ambassador Programme

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Vinny Maharaj

Vinny Maharaj

Head Concierge at Sandton Sun Hotel

Vinny Maharajh has years of experience in guest relations. He has spent six years as Head Concierge at Intercontinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers, and a year at The Lost City, re-joining Tsogo Sun in 2014.

Vinny started at Southern Sun Elangeni in 2000 as Banqueting Attendant, where he also achieved his National Qualification in Food and Drink Service.

His academic achievements through Tsogo Sun Academy, include Management Skills Builder, and Nine Conversations, a leadership training programme.

James Khoza

James Khoza

President of the SA Chefs Association

James Khoza is Executive Chef at Tsogo Sun’s Sandton Convention Centre, where he has been for the past seven years, and the first South African born and trained President of the SA Chefs Association since its inception more than 44 years ago. He holds a Diploma in Food & Beverage Management from Technikon Witwatersrand in Braamfontein and honed his culinary skills under Walter Ulz at Linger Longer restaurant as demi chef de cuisine.

James has travelled and worked in France, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Berlin, where he worked in a Michelin-starred restaurant. He returned to South Africa 11 years ago and joined Tsogo Sun, working in various Southern Sun kitchens.

Iain Evans

Iain Evans

Coffee Magazine Publisher

Iain Evans is the is the Durban-based brewer of Coffee Magazine and coffee aficionado who has watched the coffee culture in SA grow over 10 years as he has travelled around publishing various print and new media titles. The magazine and online site are about coffee and the coffee culture in South Africa.

Iain has teamed up with Melanie Winter (twice Barista of the Year in KZN) whose passion for coffee has grown working at the family roastery and cafe, The Bean Green Coffee Roastery. Mel is the Managing Editor of the Coffee Magazine and website.

Franz de Waal

Franz De Waal

Celebrity Chef & Business Owner

Franz de Waal is a celebrity chef, catering specialist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and helicopter pilot, with over 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry.

He runs a catering company called Hashtag Hot Caterers, based in Johannesburg, which has been operating for over ten years, attracting international and corporate clients, and catering for anyone from small private functions to large-scale events of up to 15 000.

David Walstra

David Walstra

Co-owner of Thirdspace

David Walstra is Founder of Thirdspace and Co-founder of SEAM Coffee roaster and wholesaler, and collectively they aim to bring specialty coffee to a broader audience while also helping to build community, at Thirdspace and in the farming communities where their coffee is sourced. David is on a drive to bring transparency trade to the fore in the coffee industry while also nurturing new talent focused on sustainability. David is an avid traveller and lover of good design.

Arnold Tanzer

Arnold Tanzer

Owner - Food on the move

Arnold Tanzer is a highly skilled chef with over 20 years’ experience locally and internationally. His time-tested passion is for simple but great food.

In the 80s Arnold escaped to Holland in protest against joining the South African army. The Dutch government wouldn’t recognise his South African diploma so the only job he could get was washing dishes. He was later offered an apprenticeship under a professional chef and after his training, he worked as a chef in Europe.

Jackie Cameron

Jackie Cameron

Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine

Jackie Cameron, Owner of Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, has made an indelible mark on the culinary industry and has proved her adage ‘a cut above the rest’. Her students graduate with local and international distinctions and are sought-after by renowned restaurants. Jackie’s career is peppered with numerous awards and has taken her around the globe. She has also designed a range of chefs clothing and is an award-winning author.