Attendance at festival expected to increase

11th March 2016 By: Lynne Jackson - writer

Attendance at festival expected to increase

WINING AND DININGRepresentatives of more than 80 award-winning wine farms will convene at the festival
Photo by: Bloomberg

This year’s Harvest Festival is set to take place at Leriba Hotel and Spa, in Centurion, and will run from April 30 to May 2, with 4 000 visitors a day expected to attend.

“The festival is a culinary journey, complemented by more than 80 award- winning wine farms, such as Arra Vineyards, Excelsior Wine Estate and Zorgvliet Wines, as well as handpicked cheese, olive and herb farms,” says Leriba Hotel and Spa owner Peet du Preez.

Cheese producers Kee Ingredient will provide a variety of cheeses for the event, while the herb varieties that will be showcased are planted, nurtured and maintained by the Leriba Hotel and Spa gardeners.

“Constantly striving towards new sustainable and responsible business practices, the hotel actively drives the empowerment of our gardeners,” he says, adding that herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, basil, mint and different variants of chillies, turmeric and watercress, produced by the gardeners, will be on sale at the festival.

Further activities will include a presentation by television show Voetspore host Johan Badenhorst, who will share his food-preparation secrets based on his time spent in other African countries.

Moreover, an interactive cooking competition for high school learners will also be held. “Gauteng high schools are invited to enter their top hospitality students to take part in cook-offs planned for the first two days of the festival. On the last day, the finalists from the first two days will participate in a cook-off against one another,” Du Preez points out.

Leriba Hotel and top chefs in the industry will judge the event, with car dealership Jaguar Land Rover Centurion sponsoring the prizes for the winners.

Partners of the festival, including South African National Parks (SANParks), global positioning systems manufacturer Tom Tom South Africa and automotive manufacturers Jaguar Land Rover Centurion, will exhibit at the event.

A percentage of the ticket sales, along with the funds generated at an auction taking place on April 29, 2016, will be donated to SANParks to assist with the anti-rhino poaching campaign.

“Leriba Hotel and Spa is passionate about the environment. We were the national winner of the South African Tourism Lilizela Imvelo awards in 2013, in the Responsible Environmental Management Systems category, and came second in 2015 in the same category,” comments Du Preez.

The hotel is a registered nature park, Fairtrade-accredited and a member of the Endangered Wildlife Trust. It is located on 13 ha of indigenous bush on the banks of the Hennops river, which is home to more than 200 indigenous plant and 300 indigenous bird species.

This year’s event will mark the second time that it will be held at Leriba Hotel and Spa. Last year’s event was a success, having integrated good food and wine, education and protection of South Africa’s natural heritage.

About 6 200 people visited the 2015 event.

“We are confident that this year’s event will be an even greater success,” concludes Du Preez.