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Tsogo Sun’s James Khoza elected President of SA Chefs Association
04 May 2018

James Khoza, Executive Chef of Tsogo Sun’s Sandton Convention Centre, has been elected the first South African born and trained President of the SA Chefs Association since its inception 44 years ago, in an election of anonymous votes cast by the Association’s nearly 10 000 members across South Africa. Khoza has been serving as Vice President of the association in a joint Competitions portfolio.

The SA Chefs Association is a non-profit industry body that represents the interests of chefs, cooks and caterers at all levels, with a focus on skills development, the celebration of culinary professionals, and transforming the industry. The President is tasked with heading the Association’s governing body and Board of Directors, providing direction for its various initiatives, including the South African Culinary Olympics team.

Khoza says he is deeply humbled and honoured to take on this new role, which he describes as educational and overwhelming. “I now carry the hopes and aspirations of many chefs and I look forward to continuing the association’s ongoing work of uniting all chefs. SA Chefs is home to all chefs and no one must feel excluded. I aim to further the association’s work in building a space for development, in ensuring equal opportunity, in improving standards in the industry through training and mentorship, and to working with industry stakeholders to set and maintain the highest level of culinary excellence, growth and development of young chefs and professionalism.” In accepting his new position, Khoza asked the audience of fellow chefs, “to be ambassadors of this noble society – it’s not about any one individual, it’s about people. It’s about mentoring the young chefs in our association and advancing the unity of chefs.”

Khoza has a passion for education and has been gratified by Tsogo Sun’s focus on training and development. During his tenure with Tsogo Sun, both at Sandton Sun and Sandton Convention Centre, he has worked closely with many young learnership students and trainee chefs, personally mentoring them. “I believe that we have a vitally important role to play with the chefs who are starting out – they are our legacy and have the potential to make a difference in our industry in a country that has so much to offer by way of unique ideas and skills.”

Khoza achieved his Diploma in Food & Beverage Management from Technikon Witwatersrand in Braamfontein in the 1990s and then started his culinary career working under Walter Ulz at Linger Longer restaurant as demi chef de cuisine. Through his career, he has travelled and worked in places such as France, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Berlin, where he worked in a Michelin-starred restaurant. He then returned to his South African roots 11 years ago and joined Tsogo Sun, working in various Southern Sun kitchens, followed by the Sandton Convention Centre, where he has been for seven years.

Outgoing SA Chefs President, Stephen Billingham, says, “James Khoza has played an active role in SA Chefs for many years and has a true passion for improving our industry and developing new talent. He is ably equipped to continue the great work done by the Association and all its members.” Billingham adds that he is proud to leave the association in the safe hands of the new leadership supported by a strong board and thriving committees, clubs, and other initiatives.
Ravi Nadasen, COO of Tsogo Sun hotels, congratulates Khoza on his auspicious appointment as head of a strong association that has garnered global respect over the years. “James is a true asset to Tsogo Sun and I have no doubt that he will apply the exceptional work ethic, integrity, quiet confidence and wisdom for which he is so respected to the industry role he now deservedly occupies. As his employer we are delighted to offer our full support to James as he leads the South African Chefs Association to achieve his vision of mentorship and unification.”

About Tsogo Sun

Tsogo Sun is the leading hotels, gaming and entertainment company in South Africa, providing a variety of hospitality and exciting entertainment and leisure experiences. Combining an established heritage with a professional and energised approach, the group proudly encompasses 13 casinos and over 100 hotels in South Africa, Africa, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi.
The company’s hospitality interests offer a wide distribution of hotels in Africa, providing world-class accommodation across all markets, including elegant, individually branded luxury hotels and well-known trusted market leaders in the premier through budget segments, including Southern Sun Hotels, Garden Court, SunSquare, StayEasy and SUN1 hotels.

The exciting urban and resort casino portfolio includes the most popular entertainment destinations, strategically located throughout South Africa. In the Gauteng province, Tsogo Sun owns the group’s flagship property, Montecasino in Fourways, which features, amongst other attractions, the award-winning Teatro; Gold Reef City Casino and Theme Park in Southern Johannesburg; and Silverstar Casino to the West in Krugersdorp. Additional properties are owned and operated in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, including the jewel on Durban’s Golden Mile, Suncoast Casino, Hotels and Entertainment.
Tsogo Sun is proud to be a Level 1 B-BBEE Contributor with 135% B-BBEE procurement recognition status, 62.1% black ownership and 34.4% black women ownership. Tsogo Sun invests substantial resources into developing skills, supporting emerging businesses, nurturing communities and creating awareness about the importance of conserving our environment. The cornerstones of Tsogo Sun Citizenship are managed as part of the group’s sustainability and growth strategies within the specific areas of community, entrepreneurs and the environment.

Tsogo Sun (“TSH”) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The key shareholders of Tsogo Sun are Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (“HCI”), a JSE listed investment holding company.
Tsogo Sun Gaming supports the National Responsible Gambling Programme. Winners know when to stop. Only persons over the age of 18 are permitted to gamble. National Problem Gambling counselling toll-free helpline: 0800 006 008.

For more information, go to, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @TsogoSun or like us on Facebook /TsogoSun.

About SACA:

The South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs) is a non-profit industry organisation that has been representing chefs, cooks and caterers at all levels for over 40 years.
Its core purpose is to set and maintain the highest level of culinary excellence, food standards and professionalism throughout South Africa. We accomplish these goals through the transfer of skills and the upliftment of individuals, our members… ‘The South African Chef’.
One of our many objectives is to have a significant impact on the careers of the chefs with whom we share the knowledge that our members have acquired through international food promotions, competitions, workshops, educational conferences and various other learning experiences.
SACA has in excess of 6,000 members, include catering and hotel company directors, restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, culinary educators, apprentices and trainees and can be found in every type of catering activity.

The governing body of SACA is a board of directors – leaders in the world of food and hospitality, who are elected to serve the interests of the Association in a voluntary capacity. Each region has its own decentralised organisation structure.

The current patrons of SACA are Tsogo Sun, Tiger Brands, Fedics, McCain, Lucky Star, Unilever Food Solutions, Nestle Professional, Excella, Mac Brothers and Gearhouse.
Our educational wing falls under the Centre for Culinary Excellence, with a reference library and computer centre as well as a state-of-the-art Skills Kitchen and Culinary Theatre. The practical arm, the Tsogo Sun Centre for Culinary Excellence, was created in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and built with sponsorship from companies in the hospitality industry.

This is where we fulfill our mandate of training, offering subsidised, basic skills courses to members of the hospitality industry, be they formal or informal.
Culinary Team South Africa has represented our country in the Culinary Olympics since 1980 and received official team status from the Bureau of Heraldry in 2008, becoming South Africa’s official representative in the culinary world. The Team is run on sponsorship and they meet regularly to practice both the Cold Table and Hot Kitchen, as these are the two sections of the Olympics.

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