The 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player will not only distinguish itself as one of world golf’s premier tournaments in terms of its field and Rolex Series status, but also in terms of its food and beverage offering.
This year, golf fans attending the Sun City showpiece from 8-11 November can expect a culinary experience that easily holds its own amongst the biggest and best sporting events in the world.
“The European Tour has informed us that what we are doing at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player is in the top five food and beverage experiences in the world,” says Ronald Ramsamy, the Sun International Group Executive Chef.
According to Ramsamy, this year marks the culmination of a three-year process to completely reinvent the food and beverage offering at “Africa’s Major”.
“We visited some of the biggest tournaments in world golf as part of our research. This year we are offering fans the best of both worlds in terms of a meal that they can actually go out onto the golf course with, and then upon their return be able to sit down to a larger meal in hospitality.
“We are very much focused on the deli concept we have been introducing over the past two years and refining this in terms of more niche products, more salads and more individual portions.
“This year we have also brought our brand from Time Square called Kung Fu Cowboy to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, offering a fusion between American-style burgers and Asian food such as delicious sushi and generally lighter meals. We will also be offering the Brew Monkey’s pub-style food. And the third offering will be the Food Factory, which is our take on fast food in terms of burgers and bunny chows to name just a few options. Krispy Kreme doughnuts will also be on offer in the Public Village."
“From a drinks perspective, the Sun Bar will cater for all your spirit requirements, and we’ll again have the Stella Artois beer area. But of the most exciting elements we’ve added to the public village this year is the Beefeater Gin Bar, where you can make your own gin to order, and then beautiful activations from Jameson and Amarula, which I know the fans are going to love. So coupled with the great entertainment line-up and the world-class golf, I believe the Public Village this year will be on par with the best in world golf.”
And as much as the game of golf has kept pace with advancements in technology, so too has Ramsamy’s team for the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
“We have evolved our technology to the point that we now have three major satellite kitchens built on the golf course with proper equipment and infrastructure. So we’ve taken it to a new level in terms of producing the freshest food on-site out on the golf course and under very strict regulations and with minimum wastage.
“We also have a new R20 million main kitchen for this tournament just to keep pace with modern trends and the demand. To give you just a small idea of the demand that week, this year alone we’ll be making close to 50 000 pieces of desert, 60 000 pieces of hot food, and almost 41 000 pieces of dairy products.”
According to Ramsamy, the scale of the food and beverage offering for this event puts it in a league of its own in South African sport, and in global golf.
“This is the single biggest event for us as food and beverage at Sun International, and I would argue it’s the biggest in the country. You may get an event at a stadium of up to 60 000 people, but that’s just one day. We have to replicate this over four days, with consistency. It’s like having a World Cup Final on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We also bring in 500 extra people for this event, thereby creating further employment from the communities around Sun City.
“I don’t think there is any other golf tournament out there that puts this much effort and research into food and beverage. We are really focused on making the Nedbank Golf Challenge a world-class African experience.”
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