The winner of Season 1: Cooking for a Cause was selected on Monday evening in a nail-biting 90-minute live broadcast from the Bosch Experience Centre in Kramerville. Sara Williams, winner of episode one, triumphed with a dish entitled “Chef D” in honour of her late brother.

“Food for me is about a feeling,” explains David Higgs, the show’s host. “Yes, presentation is important – but it’s not everything. A great dish has to have a wholesomeness, and Sara’s dish – along with being flavourful – really embodied this.”

Sara and the other three finale contestants – Rakhee Shah (E2), Alfreda Jonker (E3) and Taylor Orfao (E4) – were supplied with an ingredient box containing fillet steak, farfalle pasta, avocado, parmesan cheese, tinned tomatoes, red pepper, chillies and herbs including thyme, basil and rosemary. David, and co-host Marcelle Gordon, judged the dishes based on taste, presentation and gees.

Sara’s dish – a perfectly cooked fillet steak, was served with farfalle pasta tossed with lemon, chilli, basil and garlic; a red pepper salsa, parmesan-thyme crisps and caramelised onions and walnuts.

There were tears all round when Williams was announced the winner of the first season of Cooking for a Cause.

“South Africans have an emotional relationship with food,” says Marcelle. “It’s so strongly connected to our heritage and how we show love for those we cook for on the daily. And this ground-breaking show, which has taken us into so many different and diverse kitchens, has been testament to that.”

Sara, who grew up in the Northern Cape, spent many years surrounded by a love of cooking. Her father and late brother ran a restaurant and a cooking school in Kimberly. Her prize for winning the show included food and biltonghampers, vouchers from Food Lovers Eatery, AGA merchandise, bottles of Mumm Grand Cordon and a selection of Boschendal wines.

“It’s quite incredible how this show has developed over the last five weeks, we appreciate all the entrants and for the support for this incredible cause,” David adds.

All proceeds from the show will be donated to The Inner City CAN Collective (ICCC), an organisation dedicated to supporting vulnerable communities in the inner city of Johannesburg.  The ICCC is a network of micro-CANs – community action networks – that volunteer to bring food, PPE and educational materials to communities, they are also involved in assisting them leverage their skills by creating sustainable economic opportunities. These include cleaning committees, skills exchange programs, informal soup kitchens and libraries. 

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