Go! & Express
MEE-SHAAN Lewis, 14, from East London is the youngest ever Top 18 finalist in the Shoprite/ Checkers Championship Boerewors competition after placing second in the Eastern Cape.
It is an amazing feat for the teenager who only started making boerewors a year ago after her father Markum Lewis won the provincial prize and qualified for the final.She is the youngest finalist since the competition changed formats.
“I was the defending provincial champion and from there she started showing interest,” said Markum, who said both Mee-Shaan and her brother Lee-Jaun, 18, entered this year’s competition.
Mee-Shaan said she had wanted to know about everything that went into making boerewors. “It really started interesting me. My father taught me and I now know that texture, colour and flavour are most important.”
Markum and Lee-Jaun did not quite make the grade at the provincial round in Port Elizabeth on July 18, with 48 people taking part.
The three champion round win- ners from the Eastern Cape – Ayanda Dyanse, Mee-Shaan and Aubrey Williams – will now compete in the top 18 in Cape Town tomorrow.
Mee-Shaan and her father have been hard at work preparing this week for the finals and the youngster is confident that she can win the big prize. “I’m aiming to win it – to make my community and family proud. I am confident going up against [some of] the best boerewors makers [in South Africa],” said Mee-Shaan, who has taken on her father’s secret recipe and looked to improve on it. She said she does experiment a lot with different flavours including herbs and spices but remained tight-lipped about the secret recipe, noting only coriander as an ingredient.
Markum said that one of the judges will come to East London today to watch Mee-Shaan make the boerewors and then lock it in a safe and fly it to Cape Town for Saturday’s final.
“The boerewors will be locked up until the final to make sure there are no discrepancies. She has to make 3kg of boerewors, 500g for raw taste judging, 1kg for cooked judging and the rest for the public to taste,” said Markum.
Mee-Shaan said she wants to be a chef when she finishes school, whether she wins or not.
The Lewis family would like to thank Amalinda SuperSpar and the Natha family for letting them use the supermarket’s butchery to practice. All three of the provincial winners received hampers from sponsors Coca-Cola, All Gold and Simba as well as vouchers that can be used at Shoprite or Checkers stores.
The grand prize will entail being crowned the Championship Boerewors winner for 2015 and being awarded the prize of a Hilux 2.7 Double Cab Raised Body L45.
This year has seen the format of the competition change and for the first time ever the public will vote for the winner during a top three showdown. The South African Chefs Association takes charge of the judging processes and makes sure that all entries adhere to the guidelines for making truly traditional boerewors.
Follow the competition through the website www.championshipboerewors.co.za and make sure to vote for your favourite between August 28 and September 10 during the top three stage to stand a chance to win amazing prizes as well.