Victor Strugo, Jackie Cameron and Vanessa Singh
(Photo : Hartford House)
PRIZE GIVING : TIZ THE SEASON
As matriculants prepare for their final exams and the last of their school days, our minds turn to prize-giving. In the culinary world, it's no different, as the various gourmet critics put their final pens to paper, and national competitions draw to a close.
One accolade Hartford has always treasured is the American Express Fine Dining Awards, not only for what the certificate represents on the restaurant's wall, but for the respect we have for its organisers, and especially for Victor Strugo, who holds a place among the world's most discerning food critics, let alone South Africa's.
Victor has been a deep inspiration to our team at Hartford House, and a guiding light to Jackie Cameron since her earliest days, when he first discovered her rare talent. Victor knows that at Hartford we operate in unusual circumstances, remote from most of the world, and with people who started out in life with little or no skills to speak of. Over the years, he has watched as young ladies from our community with limited educational qualifications, have grown to the point of representing this country in places like Zurich, Prague and Shangai. Victor's role with us has not been confined to the awarding of prizes; it's been an upliftment project which has changed lives.
Behind these awards is a lovely lady, Vanessa Singh. American Express are lucky to have her; her enthusiasm is infectious, her organisational capacity is evident in the way these awards are managed, and as a member of the previously disadvantaged community herself, she has scaled every ladder there has been to climb.
This past week, Jackie Cameron and one of her assistants Delli Nene, made the pilgrimage to Byzance in Lonehill, where Hartford picked up its 6th consecutive American Express Platinum banner.