Foodies of all ages are in for a tasty treat this winter with the arrival of the Ballito Pro Food and Wine Festival taking place at Willard Beach, Ballito on Tuesday, 4 and Wednesday 5 July 5pm to 11pm.

This two-night culinary spectacular forms part of the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong festival programme which is all centred around the international surfing contest running from 27 June to 9 July. In addition to the mouth-watering food contests and quality vintages, visitors will also experience two nights of music, fashion and dance entertainment.

“Cooking is a really fantastic way to bring people together and uncover hidden talents among friends and family,” explained event organiser, Collette Bundy. “It’s always interesting to see what creations competitors bring to the table, and it’s lovely witnessing the burgeoning young talent showcasing their skill. The Ballito Pro Food and Wine Festival is a really superb evening out for the whole family and a great taste of what the entire festival is all about.”

The first evening will keep it cool for the kids with the exciting ‘Freak Shake’ Competition for ages 6 to 13 years. All milkshake-loving children are invited to enter this dessert-making contest which will involve a dash of culinary skill and heaps of fun.

Teams of two will compete to make the wackiest, freakiest shake possible using whatever milkshake ingredients they bring along on the evening. The teams are encouraged to dress in their wackiest attire and come up with a fun team name to set them apart from the competitors.

The milkshakes will be assessed on both taste and appearance by an illustrious panel of judges including Brand Manager for the Hirschs Group, Luci Hirsch Jackson; as well as the owner of Concha Café, Diogo Barendse.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this competition and, as a mum with three boys of my own, I feel it is great to see children being involved in fun activities in the kitchen, putting their energy and creativity to use,” said Hirsch’s Brand Manager, Luci Hirsch Jackson.

This winners of this colourful event – sponsored by Hirschs, Defy, Concha Café, Fine Young Cooks and Counter Culture – will be named Ballito’s Freak Shake Team of 2017 with the decadently creamy dessert featuring on the Concha Café menu.

Visitors to first leg of the Night of Food and Wine will also get to witness some incredible gastronomic entertainment as Darryn Sykes from Illembe surfriders takes on one of the surf contestants in a must-see cook-off.

Things will get more heated on the second night of the Ballito Pro Food and Wine Festival as contestants play with fire in the Shisa Nyama Proudly African Cook-off.

This smoking hot contest will see teams of two compete in a sizzling mystery box challenge organised by the evening’s incredible judge line-up which includes celebrity chef, Callie-Anne Gavazzi, and Eldry Leibrandt, owner of Shisa Mfethu’s Catering & Events as well as a former Ultimate Braai Master contestant. Callie-Ann will also be given the platform to showcase some of her favourite ‘beach bites’.

In addition to preparing an exceptional feast of South African fare, contestants are required to assign themselves a team name and dress accordingly.

While watching the exciting contests, visitors to both evenings will be able to sample some of the country’s best vintages at the Wine Tasting held between 6pm and 8pm with R40 buying a glass and eight tasters. There will also be a Cocktails and Flaring stand, craft beer on sale as well as an Artisanal Food Market with a difference. Local restaurants will be in attendance to entice food lovers with taster menus showcasing signature dishes.

The Ballito Pro Food and Wine Festival offers visitors a host of other entertainment on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings including a view of the latest on-trend fashion at the Simply Models’ fashion shows and best-dressed competitions hinged on the theme ‘African’. The Miss Ballito Top 3 will also be in attendance and visitors will get the chance to vote for their favourite Mr Ballito while enjoying some dance entertainment performed by Sugar Dance and the Parkour Crew, Street Riders.

Musical entertainment will be presented by Counter Culture with DJ Fuego Heat bringing some soul and funk with a taste of 80s and 90s on Tuesday evening. The following night will see three-piece South African rock band, Avade, putting on an electric live performance.

The Ballito Pro, presented by Billabong, festival programme promises non-stop entertainment including extreme motorbiking action by Brent and Bruce le Riche; skateboarding prowess by Khule Nubange; some of the country’s hottest musical acts – including Matthew Mole, Desmond & the Tutus, and PH – at the Cadbury Five Star Ballito Pro Music Concerts Powered by 5FM; After Dark Parties and the Battle of the DJs at Crush Nightclub; Beach Action at the Coca Cola Football Arena; the Willard Beach Kids’ Corner and daily entertainment, arts and crafts in the Retail Delight arena. The Save the Waves Campaign continues this year with festival organisers encouraging ocean rehabilitation and conservation through education campaigns and recycling initiatives throughout the festival venue.

The entry fee for the Freak Shake competition is R250 per team and entry for the Shisa Nyama Proudly African Cook-off is R300 per team. To enter email