Master Chefs, Fine Food and Master Cars at Mercedes-Benz AMG Performance Tour

I got to have a mouth-watering lunch at the Twelve Apostles last week (I’ll share details later) and had a chat with the executive chef, Christo Pretorius.  He mentioned his experience at the Mercedes-Benz AMG Performance Tour.  They got to cook, interact with the people and most of all, they got to drive the cars.  How fabulous is that?

The AMG Performance Tour started on the 1st of October in Century City before making its way around key dealerships in South Africa’s biggest cities with the third stop taking place on the 17th of October at South Africa’s top Mercedes-Benz dealership, NMI-DSM in Umhlanga.

These fine dining events showcased three of South Africa’s top chefs and gave them the opportunity to create exquisite gourmet meals that are both visually beautiful and of the finest quality, just as Mercedes-Benz owners are accustomed to! Chefs Christo Pretorius, Pieter de Jager and Bertus Basson demonstrated to specially invited guests’ what revs their engine with a skillful culinary display that was an impressive entrée to the main event.

More about the Chefs:

Christo Pretorius – The award-winning chef hails from Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal but is currently the sous chef at Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. After completing his training at 1000 Hills Chef’s School in Durban he spent some time abroad honing his skills before working his way down the coastline and finally settling in Cape Town where he tantalises the taste buds of locals and visitors to the Mother City.

Pieter de Jager – Hails from Pretoria where he grew up cooking in his father’s restaurant. He completed his studies at the South African Chefs Academy before going on to spend some time cooking up a storm in some fine European kitchens. Currently patrons of Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards in the Franschhoek area can benefit from de Jager’s skills as he spends time doing demonstrations and presenting cooking classes at the vineyard.

Bertus Basson – popularly known as a judge on The Ultimate Braai Master, Basson is also famed for establishing the immensely successful restaurant Overture at Hidden Valley in the Western Cape. This popular restaurant has been voted as one of South Africa’s Top Ten restaurants by Eat Out for the past six years in a row and it comes as no surprise thanks to Bertus’ commitment to using traditional South African cuisine as a base for producing more progressive dishes.

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S63 Coupe


After much anticipation, and a procession of delectable dishes prepared by the talented trio of chefs and their teams, Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s Marketing Manager, Selvin Govender had the privilege of revealing Mercedes Benz’ latest masterpiece to the crowd. In the build-up to the fashionable reveal, Govender enlightened the crowd, “Mercedes-Benz, by the way, is currently the number 1 brand in SA in the premium luxury segment. We also topped the charts in the recent Ipsos survey. Not only did we have the three highest quality models, but we also collected two important gold awards as best luxury brand overall and best factory producing passenger cars in South Africa.  We also took prime spot in the “Sunday Times Brand Award” for Top automotive Brand and received the highly acclaimed Loeries award for Marketing Innovation. But the hero of our show tonight is undoubtedly – the new S63 AMG Coupé.  Although not as yet launched, we thought it opportune to give you a sneak preview.” The only one of its kind in the country, the S63 Coupe did not disappoint and was a feast for the eyes.

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Richard and Tanya Seeler


“What better way to reveal our new vehicles than by treating our dealers and prospective customers to a taste of the very best that South Africa has to offer? Those who prefer to drive such fine vehicles tend to have a general appreciation for the finer things in life, like fine dining, which is why we chose to involve three of our country’s top chefs to help us celebrate the Mercedes Benz continued commitment to quality,” said Jarryd Smith, Marketing Manager for NMI-DSM Mercedes-Benz Umhlanga. According to Smith, the third stop of the AMG Performance Tour was a huge success and the S63 AMG Coupé was a real crowd pleaser.

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Nkabuki Mncwabe and Shirley Mbatha


Exciting lines underpin the two-door model design of the S63 AMG Coupé. The AMG 5.5-litre V8 bi-turbo engine powering the S63 AMG Coupé is the epitome of poise and assurance. Boasting an output of 430 kW and 900 Nm of torque, the S63 AMG Coupé delivers exceptional performance with remarkably low fuel consumption. A world first in the shape of the curve tilting function, part of the magic body control suspension system, further enhances both driving enjoyment and comfort.  An option on the S-Coupe is full LED headlamps with 47 sparkling Swarovski crystals in each headlamp.

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Feizal Essak, Saadia Essak, Steve Hickman and Marcel Peter


Mercedes Benz will officially launch the new S63 AMG Coupé in January 2015. The revamped CLS will go on sale from the end of 2014 and clients are encouraged to enquire at the dealership for ordering information.

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Amisha and Mark Simon


Featured Image: Selvin Govender (Marketing Manager for Mercedes Benz SA), Pieter de Jager, Bertus Basson & Christo Pretorius

Image Credit:  Theresa Ferreira

Author Info


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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