HAVE you noticed or experienced the close bonds that are often formed between employers and their domestic workers? One of those relationships could produce the winning formula in our Bay Chefs competition.Elaine Clark and Nonkululeko Sibanyon have refined a recipe that could win Sibanyon R1 000 in Greenacres shopping vouchers and a trip to Jeffreys Bay for a cooking experience. “These ladies, who travel from the townships every day, have wonderful recipes that could represent the tastes of Nelson Mandela Bay so well, but they have limited, if any, access to the internet. As employers, I think we can become more involved in their lives by giving them a chance at being famous in our city,” said Clark. “Let’s be proactive and give them the opportunity to show off their cooking talents and feel part of this great community initiative.” These two special women added a few authentic Nelson Mandela Bay touches to a recipe that Monica cooked as a young mother. Unfino is a vegetable and rice dish that is the very essence of wholesomeness on a shoestring budget. While discussing unique foods from the area, Elaine mentioned how she often bought prickly pears on the side of the road and enjoyed them raw at home. Nonkululeko told her how her family made prickly pear jam while the fruit was in season and soon the two ladies will be enjoying home-made bread and prickly pear jam as a mid-morning snack. And so the shared stories grow.We can do better than being copycatsThe Bay Chefs is an initiative by the PE Express, UD Express, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Alliance Francaise to identify local dishes that capture the essence of our metro. The idea is to present tourists with tastes that are authentic and can only be enjoyed in Nelson Mandela Bay. We want to give them reasons to post on social media about things that they could only find or experience here and recommend the destination to future visitors.“Our foods, our crafts, our experiences in the metro do not create a good enough reason for tourists to stay here,” said Bay Chefs coordinator Shaun van Eck. “We need to stop being tourism copycats and create authentic experiences that reflect what makes the metro and its people unique. I believe that we have somehow become addicted to sameness in our metro and it is time to remember what our unique DNA is and express it with confidence.”We are searching for five finalists for phase one of our Bay Chefs competition. These finalists will cook off against each other at the end of July and the top three will then cook off against the three winners of the second stage on September 24. Each of our finalists will win R1 000 in shopping vouchers from Greenacres Shopping Centre. Make your housekeeper famousYou could help your housekeeper to win the title of 2019 Bay Chef. Make it happen this week. Simply jot down her favourite Nelson Mandela Bay-inspired recipe. You can then enter the recipe online or you can download the entry form from the PE Express Facebook page or www.magnetic.co.za, complete it and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also an entry box at the information desk at the Greenacres Shopping Centre. Be quick though; entries for round one of the Bay Chefs must be in by Sunday, July 28, and the five best entrants will cook off against each other on July 29. The winner of round one will be announced by the mayor at a proudly Nelson Mandela Bay function on July 30. The Bay Chefs competition is supported by Coca-Cola, Greenacres Shopping Centre and Magnetic Storm.