HomeWining & DiningAmanda Wessels: 2011 Personality of the Year

Amanda Wessels: 2011 Personality of the Year

Previous business partner Julie Ann Chapman with whom she began the business, and like Amanda, a very popular personality both in the trade and out of it, left Zimbabwe to live in Australia around five years ago.

As well as continuing to run Sophisti-Catered, Amanda was also a working partner at Fusion Café Bar at the racecourse for two years, and owned Sushi 2 Go at Borrowdale Village for a year, till the relevant building was closed last month.  Amanda is well-known for her delicious sushi and continues to offer this for parties via Sophisti-Catered.  She and Sophisti-Catered are always in high demand, for superbly presented, imaginative and truly delicious fare which invariably wows the guests at any event.

The wonderful spread she prepared for the Zoap Awards was certainly no exception and met the full and hearty approval of the guests, many of whom went back for seconds and thirds of the splendidly varied finger-and-fork delights that Amanda had dreamt up, to ensure that despite the presence of the very best restaurateurs, the audience would all the same be suitably impressed!


Amanda carefully ensured that she showcased the fullest range possible of the sponsors’ own products in her offerings, which included a Sushi Platter showcasing mozzarella and cream cheeses, prawn meat, crab sticks and smoked salmon, all from The Cheeseman, lemon marinaded Lake Harvest bream carpaccio topped with olive oil and crushed pink peppercorns with Fresh baguette and Cape Malay Lake Harvest tilapia served with Mahatma Rice, and many, many more tasty savoury delights, followed by such sweet treats as dainty Clavelshay cheesecakes, Dom Pedros showcasing Cortina Ice Cream and Afdis whiskey, and, proving a very big hit, Blue Mountain mango and passion fruit ice lolly shots.


All in all, Amanda managed to incorporate an amazing number of sponsor ingredients and created a feast that was most favourably commented on with much relish by the assembled company.

Amanda is not just known in the trade for her top-notch culinary skills, however. She is also known as a team player who fully involves herself in the affairs of the trade and will pitch in when the trade as a whole faces problems and challenges, to help fight the battle and find a solution.


Her award recognised both these fine qualities of team spirit and trade involvement, and her acumen and excellent reputation in the profession.  It also served to highlight the catering wing of the trade, an important one which cannot enjoy a Zoap entry category of its own, due to the difficulty posed by anonymously reviewing catered events.

In addition, the award recognised Amanda’s own valued opinions and inputs over the years, about the zoap competition, how it is run, and how it has evolved. Amanda has generously given up lots of her time to participate in a number of think tanks and reviewers briefings, as a consultant culinary expert.

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