July 2011 – Joe “Pretty Boy” Otway, who hails from the United Kingdom, was selected as the winner of Madame Zingara’s first Chef’s Showcase that was held at the Sidewalk Café in Vredehoek over the past two months. Otway received the most votes from diners after chefs in the group were offered the opportunity of one week each in which to showcase menus they created from scratch. The stakes were high as the chefs not only had to design and serve their own breakfast, lunch and dinner menu in that time, but also interact with diners to share their thinking behind the dishes.
Diners then rated the performance of each chef and Otway was named the winner. “I am very happy to have won the showcase, especially since I was up against highly experienced chefs,” said Otway. “I am very humbled and honored to have been afforded this opportunity.” The showcase created a unique platform for the chefs to demonstrate their talent and culinary style in a competition limited only by their food knowledge and skill. “This project not only encouraged and inspired our staff to be more creative and innovative with their dishes, but also received high praise from both new and regular Sidewalk Café customers,” says Madame Zingara founder and managing director, Richard Griffin. “Congratulations to Joe for having won the challenge.
He is a very skilled chef and we are proud that he is part of the Madame Zingara family.” Griffin said his favourite part of Otway’s menu had been the chocolate mousse cake served with pecan chocolate fudge and black cherry granita. “Overall this project was an incredible success,” said Griffin. “Our chefs took on the challenge and demonstrated what they are capable of – creating amazing food and delivering high quality service which is the driving force behind the Zingara brand. Watch this space for the Summer Store Showcase that will be held at Café Mozart.” Otway obtained his diploma in Culinary Skills from City and Guild in Brighton. He joined the Madame Zingara group late last year as part of the Café Paradiso team. For more information on the range of Madame Zingara restaurants, visit www.madamezingara.com.