A hero for heritage: The winner of the 2016 Eat Out Lannice Synman Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Veldsman with Cass Abrahams

Peter Veldsman with Cass Abrahams. Photo supplied.

Hailing from a small town in the Klein Karoo in the Western Cape, Peter Veldsman overshot his destiny to become a major contributor to our country’s culinary scene over the last 50 years. We celebrate him as this year’s hugely deserving winner of the Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award.

A teacher, cookbook author, successful restaurateur and award-winning food writer, Peter holds numerous local and international qualifications, and served as a chairman of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and The Culinary Circle of South Africa.

From establishing the first Cordon Bleu School in South Africa to his almost two decades as food editor at SARIE magazine and his 24-year run at one of Cape Town’s most-loved restaurants, Emily’s, Peter is a leading force in the industry. His formidable reputation makes him a true ambassador of South African food, says chief judge Abigail Donnelly.

Judge David Higgs first met Peter as a trainee in Bill Stafford’s kitchen in 1990. “With his focus firmly on traditional recipes and having written many cookbooks, he has always been the go-to guy when I wanted to know more about the local culinary scene.”

Judge Carianne Wilkinson has known the popular personality for even longer: “Peter started his amazing food journey working at Silwood in the early sixties. He and my grandmother, Lesley Faull, shared a very special friendship. I remember the two of them pondering for hours over cookery books at Peter’s amazing pink house in Kenilworth.

“Peter has contributed enormously to the development of South African cuisine. Other than being a prolific writer, he is an energetic and charismatic chef who was able to not only promote the best of local, but he also inspired many young chefs, too.”

After his win, Peter told the crowd in a stirring speech how moving it was to come full circle and be the recipient of the Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award after having known Lannice herself, and translating one of her cookbooks into Afrikaans.  He also gave the advice to chefs: “Read, read more, travel more, eat more!”

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