The 2023 Nedbank Kapana Cook-Off Competition is coming to an end, with the top 10 contestants set to compete at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair on 26 August.
The kapana cook off is where food enthusiasts, professional chefs and amateurs from three different regions in Namibia showcase their talent in making the famous local delicacy kapana.
The preliminary rounds of the competition began on 24 June with the northern round at Oshakati, the coastal round on 8 July at Walvis Bay and the central round which took place over the weekend in Windhoek.
The coastal winners are Laura Egumbo, Veueza Kasemba and Rivaldo Pietersen, the northern winners are Johannes Haulondjamba, Loise Iimvula and Cleopatra Shiponga, and the central winners are Rauha Simon, Ester Silas, Eliakim Amunyela and Hasheni Mandume.
Chef Philip Klynsmith said the Namibia Chefs Association has been doing the competition over the last nine years and it keeps getting better.
“This was the best event so far. We could not have done anything better than this – the food was incredible, we had the best salsa and the best kapana,” he said.
Simon, one of the winners from Windhoek, said she is grateful to be one of the finalists and to learn as well as grow from the experience.
“This past year, I have learned many life lessons and I’m realising I’ve so much to be proud of. I’m still growing and learning and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me.
“I also just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this process. You all have been my biggest supporters and I am so thankful for each of you,” she said.
At least 170 participants from all three regions took part in the competition.
The grand prize is a mobile food kitchen worth N$100 000, a Nedbank account with N$10 000 and a N$5 000 Bakpro Vetkoek voucher.
The second and third prize winners will also receive cash prizes and vouchers.
In Windhoek, the cook-off also had a professional chef round, which saw qualified chefs with work experience in the food industry taking part.
The winner of the professional chef round is chef Markus Ferreira from Ocean Cellar at Swakopmund, who received a Nedbank account with N$10 000 and professional help to develop the kapana section of their menu.
Nedbank spokesperson Selma Kaulinge said the bank is grateful for the contestants and everyone that made the competition possible.
“The kapana cook-off started in 2014 as a small local event at Ongwediva. Since then, Nedbank Namibia has continuously invested in the competition, partnering with like-minded organisations such as Bakpro, Agra Namibia and the Namibia Chefs Association,” she said.