So Chef! 2019 - A taste of France in South Africa



So Chef! 2019 - A Taste of France in South Africa
05 - 20 October 2019


Your favorite culinary rendez-vous with some of the crème de la crème of France's top chefs is back in South Africa and Lesotho this October.

Four talented French chefs are flying in to bring a taste of France to your demanding taste buds: meet Vincent Lucas, Frédéric Jaunault, Joey Atchama and Florian Py.

From a Michelin star restaurant in Dordogne, to fruit and vegetable sculpture design and exotic recipes from Reunion Island, they will not disappoint your delicate bellies.

Put on your apron and catch them in Joburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Maseru, and with two new exciting stops on the route: Soweto and Potchefstroom!


Meet the Chefs


Vincent Lucas

 2019-So Chef-Vincent Lucas

Hailing from Nice, France, Michelin star chef Vincent Lucas studied his craft with top chefs including Philippe Bardau, Nicolas Lebec and René Gillard. His cuisine reflects all the influences of his culinary journey, from Monaco to Paris, Oxford to St Barthélemy, with a special signature from his hometown cuisine, which is known as "cuisine du soleil" or "cooking of the sun".
"I try to give a taste of my cooking through a unique menu that enables the customer to take risks and go on an adventure. I like to take the customer out of his comfort zone, where he can try a peach studded with anchovies as an appetizer or a foie gras seared with coconut for dessert." Lucas is currently the Chef at the Michelin star restaurant Etincelles in Sainte-Sabine-Born, in Dordogne, France.
Potchefstroom | 05 - 06 October
Pretoria | 07 - 13 October
Durban | 14 - 20 October


Joey Atchama

2019-So Chef-Joey Atchama

Joey Atchama is one of the most promising chefs on Reunion Island, having won this year's Best Chef Reunion Island award. At only 25, he has worked around the world with some of the biggest names on the culinary scene, including Nicolas Adams in St Brieux, France, Marc de Passorio, who was his first mentor in Aix en Provence, and Hugo Soulery at the Royal Mirage in Dubai.
After returning to his native Reunion Island, he decided to focus on using his traditional cooking skills and mixing them with rigour and culinary techniques.
"I want to guarantee the traditions, know-how and products of the terroirs of my native land, [...] I want to put my island forward and show that in cooking we are not left out here."
Atchama is currently a chef consultant in Salazie, Reunion Island.
Port Elizabeth | 07 - 11 October
Johannesburg | 12 - 18 October
Soweto | 19 - 20 October


Frédéric Jaunault

2019-So Chef- frederic

Frédéric Jaunault is an accomplished chef who loves to create, design and share his knowledge and passion with the public and the next generation of chefs. His love for cooking started in 1977, when he entered La Chesnay du Roy restaurant in Paris as an apprentice cook, and combined his passion for the soil and French cuisine. Jaunault's career spans more than four decades; he has worked in Paris, New York and Bermuda for top restaurants including Concorde Lafayette, Ledoyen, Plazza Athénée, Normandy in Deauville, Bernard Loiseau Picardy in Le Touquet.
In 2011, he won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France in the "Fruitier- Primeur" category. He is also a French and European champion of sculpture art that uses fruits and vegetables.
He now teaches at the Academy of Fruits and Vegetables, and promotes France and its cuisine around the world.
Maseru | 10 - 13 October


Florian Py

2019-So Chef-Photo Florian Py

Florian Py is a French chef from the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. With a background in pastry and as a head chef, he has worked in several 3-star Michelin restaurants, and spent time in the USA and in England to gain more experience. While being a trainer at GRETA (adult training centres), he followed his own training under renowned French chef Alain Ducasse. He was a semi-finalist in the "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" competition in 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Currently Py is a teacher at his alma mater Lycée Hyacinthe Friant in the Jura wine-growing region, and works as an extra chef at the 3-star Michelin restaurant "La Maison Jeunet". He is passionate about the history of gastronomy and always eager to share his latest discoveries with his students.
Cape Town | 13 - 19 October


On the programme


Our four prestigious chefs will tour South Africa and Lesotho to serve up delicious meals through various activities and events. So Chef! offers a mouth-watering programme for foodies and people of all ages: eat-alongs, disco soupes, workshops, 4-handed gastronomic dinners (2 Chefs, 1 menu) in partnering restaurants, and much more!


Movie Eat-Along

2019-So Chef-Movie eat along

An immersive food experience as the audience can eat along with the protagonists of the film. Several dishes are prepared specifically by one of our chefs to match the food in the movie. A culinary experience not to be missed!
Potchefstroom | 05 October with Vincent Lucas
Pretoria | 10 October with Vincent Lucas
Port Elizabeth | 11 October with Joey Atchama
Cape Town | 16 October with Florian Py
Johannesburg | 18 October with Joey Atchama


Disco Soupe

2019-So Chef -Disco Soupe

'Disco Soupes' are collective and open cooking sessions of scrapped or unsold fruit and vegetables in a musical and festive atmosphere. The idea is to sensitize people to food waste but also to eat healthy and tasty cooking, and of course to (re)discover the pleasure of cooking together!
Johannesburg | 12 October
Alliance Française of Johannesburg with Joey Atchama
Soweto | 19 October
Alliance Française of Soweto with Joey Atchama


Wine Tasting and Food Pairing

2019-So Chef-food tasting

A refined evening to satisfy your palate! Enjoy some wine tasting along with a pairing of special hors d'oeuvres, to gently awaken your taste buds.
Port Elizabeth | 8 October
Alliance Française of Port Elizabeth with Joey Atchama


4-handed Gastronomic Dinner

2019-So Chef-4 handed dinner

Come to one of our partner restaurants to eat a dinner prepared by two chefs teaming up to bring the best of French and South African gastronomy in an amazing menu – a real treat for your taste buds!
Port Elizabeth | 7 October
Muse Restaurant with Joey Atchama and Allan Bezuidenhout
Pretoria | 9 October
Prue Leith School Restaurant with Vincent Lucas and invited Chef
Maseru | 10 October
Mpilo Restaurant with Frédéric Jaunault and invited Chef
Port Elizabeth | 10 October
Ginger Restaurant with Joey Atchama and invited Chef
Pretoria | 11 October
African Beer Emporium with Vincent Lucas and invited Chef
Durban | 18 October
The Sugar Club Restaurant, Umhlanga, with Vincent Lucas and Nathania Wasserman



2019-So Chef-workshop

Along with these great activities open to the general public, numerous culinary workshops have been organised in partnerships with high schools, cooking schools, universities and the Alliance Française network in South Africa and Lesotho. They are designed for students and learners to discover and experience a taste of French cuisine, with easy-to-find ingredients, as each recipe can then be cooked at home.
Through So Chef!'s partnership with the Department of Basic Education and their National Nutrition Week, the four chefs will also hold workshops at partnering high schools.


The So Chef! Partners


So Chef! partnering with the Department of Basic Education for National Nutrition Week

In celebrating National Nutrition Week, the Department of Basic Education is teaming up with the French Institute of South Africa to bring students new cooking experiences. This exciting culinary adventure forms part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French Embassy in South Africa for collaboration and cooperation in promoting nutrition education in schools.
The National Nutrition Week (NNW) aims to promote healthy lifestyles and to demonstrate culinary skills during workshops for learners.
This will enhance the already existing efforts of the DBE through the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) which aims to enhance the learning capacity of learners through the provision of a healthy meal at school. Whilst learners are being provided with nutritious meals, they are also taught to establish and maintain good eating and lifestyle habits for life.


So Chef! brings a piece of Bourgogne- Franche-Comté & Reunion Island to local foodies

This year So Chef! partners again with the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Region and Reunion Island, helping us promote French gastronomy in Southern Africa.
The Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Region is one of the 13 metropolitan French Provinces. As part of its international policy, it has developed a long-term and cross-sector partnership with the Western Cape Province, mainly in the fields of agriculture, professional training, youth development, culture and economic development. Since 2014, in the field of catering training, it supports the development of trainer and student exchanges between the catering school of Lycée Le Castel (Dijon) and partners from TVET colleges in the Western Cape. This year, the region is partnering with the Lycée Hyacinthe Friant (Poligny).


Located in the Mascarene Archipelago, Reunion Island – a French overseas department – offers travelers the exoticism of a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. At the crossroads of European, African and Asian cultures, Reunion Island is a true melting pot.


Atout France was established in 2009 to promote the development of French tourism. This objective is pursued through various projects that all contribute to developing the French offer and attractiveness of its destinations, as well as the image and awareness of France throughout the world.



So Chef! is brought to you by the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), the Alliance Française network in Southern Africa, Atout France, the Reunion Island Tourism Board, the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Province, the Lycée Hyacinthe Friant and in partnership with the Department of Basic Education of South Africa. So Chef! takes place as part of the National Nutrition Week of the South African Department of Basic Education.


Publicity information:
Mylene Loubiere
T: 011 727 5113
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Full press release here