What to Expect at Convivium 2018: A Transference of Ideas That will Inspire

Words: Jess Spiro

Convivium, the revolutionary food event imagined up by local food heroes Wesley Randles and Andy Fenner, returns next month for its 3rd instalment. However, this time, the event is going to take on a slightly different form than previous years.

convivium 2018

The Inspiration behind Convivium 2018

If you know anything about Randles or Fenner, you’ll know about their dedication to promoting sustainable and ethical food and it’s this foundation that created Convivium. Inspired by Rene Redzepi’s MAD food symposium held annually in Copenhagen (as well as Wesley missing out on a ticket every time) the two friends decided to band together and start their own food event. But Convivium is more than just a food festival. It’s a transfer of ideas and concepts in the hope that uniting a small food industry will be able to change it for the better.

The Venue for Convivium 2018

convivium 2018

And while most of the event is being shaken up, one constant is the venue – Adi Badenhorst’s iconic Kalmoesfontein in the Swartland. As Wesley got married there last year and being the original host of every Convivium so far, one thing you can bank on is that Convivium won’t be held anywhere else.

What to Expect at Convivium 2018

convivium 2018

Where in 2016’s event the focus was on a lavish lunch cooked by the country’s best chefs, this year will highlight the journey of a chef and how vital their interaction and respect for ingredients is.

A chef is only as good their raw products and Convivium is going to show you exactly what this means.

The day will take on an exploratory theme, where guests are split into groups and walked throughout the Badenhorst farm in search of indigenous ingredients. As they progress, they will come across a number of interactive tastings and demonstrations held by prominent names in the South African food and drink world such as Marshall Siavash, Jess Shepherd, Luke Dale-Roberts and Ivor Jones, to name a few. The idea is to return the consumer to ground zero and allow them to fully connect with the country’s best chefs and their food.

International Speakers at Convivium 2018

Added to this year’s excitement is the news that Neil Rankin of Temper in London, as well as Christian Puglisi of Relae in Copenhagen, will also be making an appearance. Rankin has become known for his bold approach to flavour and unyielding commitment to sourcing the best local ingredients. Puglisi, through his first restaurant Relae, has been able to turn fine dining on its head by serving only local and organic ingredients in a restaurant that focuses on sustainability, as well as treating the raw products and environment with respect.

convivium 2018
convivium 2018

Book your Tickets for Convivium 2018 Now

The idea that this transference of ideas will inspire young, hungry chefs to work together within the industry to make it better overall. Andy and Wesley are hoping restaurants will encourage their young chefs to take part in the day, to kickstart this community spirit. Even if you’re not a chef, you will still be welcome at and inspired by Convivium. If you have a remote interest in one facet of the food industry, this is the event for you.

Tickets are available via Quicket at R1500 per person.

convivium 2018
convivium 2018

Convivium takes place at Kalmoesfontein in the Swartland on 4 February 2018.


10:00 Registration on cellar lawn (attendees divided into groups)

10:30 Group 1 and 2 leave for Forest Talks

10:30 Group 3 and 4 leave for Veld Walk

13:00 Group 1 and 2 leave for Veld Walk

13:00 Group 3 and 4 leave for Forest Talks

15:30 Taco Party on Kalmoesfontein lawn


Andy Fenner (FFMM)

Bertie Coetzee (Lowerland)

Chris Erasmus (Foliage)

Christian F. Puglisi (Relæ, Copenhagen)

Justin Williams (The Mushroom Forager)

convivium 2018


Christiaan Campbell (The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal)

Giles Edwards (La Tête)

Ivor Jones (The Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia)

Jason Lilley (Jason Bakery)

Jess Shepherd (The Table at De Meye)

Luke Dale-Roberts (The Test Kitchen)

Michael Cooke (Camphors at Vergelegen)

Michelle Theron (Pierneef à La Motte)

Neil Rankin (Temper, London)

PJ Vadas (Hoghouse Brewing Company)

Ryan Cole (The Test Kitchen)

Wesley Randles (The Shortmarket Club)

conviviumtable.co.za | Tickets are available via Quicket at R1500 per person.

Photography courtesy of C+D Heierli Photography

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