November 2012: African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa’s Executive Chef Abbas Abrahams has become one of only a handful of South African chefs to ever be inducted into the exclusive Disciples d’Auguste Escoffier, which counts among its members some of the most acclaimed chefs in the world today.

The organisation recently held its annual gala dinner in Africa for the first time, and chose to honour the deluxe Century City hotel and its executive chef.

Abrahams says it was perhaps the most daunting banquet he has ever prepared.

“There’s nothing like cooking for some of the most famous chefs in the world to pile on the pressure! I couldn’t miss the chance, though, of showcasing South Africa’s incredible lamb so that was the meat main course, accompanied by onion potato puree, sautéed long stem broccoli and asparagus and a pomegranate jus.

“The biggest pressure came from the fact that as world-class chefs, their attention to detail is almost fanatical and they have incredibly refined taste buds. Every plate had to go out identical and perfect.

“My TEAM must have done a good job, because after the mains when our inductions were taking place, nobody gave me an even halfway dirty look!”

Protea Hospitality Group CEO Arthur Gillis congratulated Abrahams on his induction.

“Abbas is a shining example of the talent of our chefs. He has been a passionate advocate of South African cuisine for 30 years, and has stayed true to his culinary roots while evolving into the sort of chef who could walk into any of the world’s finest hotels and do us proud.

“Abbas started his career with the Protea Hospitality Group all of three decades ago and we are immensely proud of how he’s grown and what he has achieved.”

African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa Executive Chef Abbas Abrahams is “spooned” by Michel Giacomino during his inauguration into the exclusive Disciples d'Auguste Escoffier, as Pierre Alexis Barde and Christophe Jouet look on.