#MARRIOTT KIGALI THE VENUE FOR THE 2018 GORILLA HIGHLANDS #SILVERCHEF COMPETITION
(Posted 06th January 2018)
The Gorilla Highlands (GH) initiative is a project conceived by Miha Logar to globally brand and promote the transboundary region shared by Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to the endangered mountain gorillas. Instead of a short stop-over to see mountain gorillas, does GH want to position the highlands as a region that has a lot to offer and should be a destination by itself. GH uses innovative solutions to tell the world a positive story about this part of Africa and bring about economic development specifically targeting the poor, an effort supported by ATCNews.org over the years through targeted publicity and visibility.
The main approach of GH has been to bring the tourism and hospitality private sector of the three countries together, create business linkages and promote the establishment of personal networks. The central annual event of the initiative is the Gorilla Highlands Silverchef cooking competition (www.gorillahighlands.com/silverchef), an opportunity for all GH partners to meet their colleagues from the tourism, media and development fraternities while sampling excellent food.
To local chefs in the region, GH Silverchef means an event to both challenge them creatively and instil confidence. They learn how to benchmark and adapt to different situations and environments. Gorilla Highlands and their media partners give them unprecedented attention by providing a platform to present their skills and familiarisation trips that take them out of their regular kitchens. The selected chefs over the years responded with cooperation and camaraderie that makes the event less of a competition and more of a learning experience for every chef involved.
For the Gorilla Highlands region, this is a chance to showcase the quality and variety of her rich food, unearthing culinary excellence that may well surprise its visitors.
GH Silverchef has been taking place since 2015, inviting chefs from an ever widening geographical area. The event started in Kisoro (2015) with competitors from southwestern Uganda, while in Kabale (2016) Rwanda’s districts of Burera and Musanze were added. Last year’s event at Lake Bunyonyi (2017) chefs from Gisenyi to Queen Elizabeth National Park were invited as the geographical area was extended.
The organisers of the 2018 event are MYL Holdings, a PR company from Kigali, Rwanda and as usual Edirisa, a social enterprise focused on cultural tourism from Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda and host venue is the Marriott Kigali Hotel in the heart of Rwanda’s capital.
The Marriott’s kitchens will allow to expand the number of competitors to 16, and with that also the geographical coverage. Chefs from any restaurant or accommodation provider in Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC are invited to apply, the only condition being that they are nationals of East African Community member states or of the DRC. They are to apply online via www.gorillahighlands.com/silverchef by latest 01st of March 2018 and if the number of applicants exceeds available slots, the organisers will make the selection by 01st of April 2018.
Tougher Challenge: After three years of supplying competitors with lists of available ingredients — allowing advance menu preparation for the event — is the competition moving to the next level. At GH Silverchef 2018 ingredients will be secret and compel chefs to think on their feet while showing their creativity.
Programme: For the first time in its history, GH Silverchef will have a public dimension as well. The invitation-only competition day will take place on Saturday 28th of April in two shifts. Each GH Silverchef competitor will be allocated to one of the shifts by the judges. They will have to prepare a two-course meal for five people. Saturday tasting will be joined by especially invited tourism and media professionals from all the three countries, who will also enjoy an internal GH networking event aimed to promote the Gorilla Highlands region. On Sunday 29th of April 2018, following familiarisation trips for GH Silverchef competitors and guests, the public part of the event will take place at 1pm. A silver hat for the winner, quality cooking/successful participation certificates and prizes will be given out, a video of the competition will be presented and the special edition of the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide booklet will be unveiled too.
GH Silverchef boosts hospitality standards and service delivery, supports destination marketing and emphasises tourism that goes beyond gorilla tracking.
For Rwandan sponsors is the competition an opportunity to expose top stakeholders from the Uganda/DRC tourism sector to everything Rwanda has to offer. For Ugandan and DRC sponsors, this is a chance to position themselves regionally.
Sponsors’ visibility will be assured through the following outlets:
– advertising in the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide booklet published with the event (10,000 copies distributed in Rwanda, Uganda, DRC and globally)
– guests/speakers on the post-event TV show
– branding in the pre-event video
– advertising in the post-event video
– logo presence on all official communications and products
– branded tables and banners during the event
– mentions by the event MC
– added exposure through ATCNews.org and other media partners of the event
Contact MYL via www.myl.rw or call +250781462286
Watch this space from here on for regular updates on the competition, the eventual announcement of the selected chefs and of course live reports from the venue at the end of April.