Food

4 Chefs You Should Book For Your Next Event

Ask any food loving individual and they will tell you that as  South Africans we are definitely spoilt with our choice of restaurants, bars and fine dining experiences to please every pallet. We recently set out to find what the future of South African cuisine might look like and social media fanatics sent these 4 fantastics chefs in our direction. From what we have seen so far these guys all let their genius and talent in the kitchen do the talking, while injecting beautiful artistry into their dishes, that all come at affordable prices. Private chefs being only for celebrities, the super wealthy and big corporates is now a thing of the past. You too can enjoy the luxury of fine dining in your setting of choice by simply booking these talented individuals for your next foodie adventures. To help you guys explore new boundaries within the food world, we asked our top 4 chefs to share a few things about themselves to bring you a little closer to understanding their mastery.

Foodies meet the 5 Chefs we think you should book for your next event:

Lesego Semenya – LesDaChef

What inspired you to become a chef and what kind of chef are you?
I used to be a process engineer but I wanted to start a company in the hospitality industry and I also had a love for food. Instead of just starting a company I decided to go to chef school and earn the diploma 1st. I’m a fine dining chef (Chef Tournade) who specialises in putting a twist on African cuisine.

Where does your food inspiration come from?
Everyday life and memories. I use ingredients from my childhood and every dish I make has a personal story attached to it. I have a firm belief that African cuisine is the next frontier and the next big thing the culinary are world globally. Africa and its people and how we attach a sense of community to our cuisine inspires me.

Which of your dishes brings back the most memories for you?
Mogodu and ledombolo. Everytime I cook that I always remember my mom and her cooking.

What will it take to make you feel you’ve really made it?
That’s a tough one. I was a judge on Top Chef and have a book and tv show coming in 2018 but I’ll feel I’ve really made it when I finally open my chef academy.

How can people book your services?
(Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) I go by @LesDaChef.
Website is www.lesdachef.com
Email bookings: info@lesdachef.com
 

Molemo Nkgakane – Mo’s Food & Pastries 

What inspired you to become a chef and what kind of chef are you?
I loved both cooking & baking growing up and my parents were ready to support me in any career path I had chosen.

I used to love market days in both primary & high school because that would give me a chance to experiment a little in the kitchen and get people to actually buy what I had made. My biggest hit or seller in Primary school was “Jelly Popcorn” which I sold for 40Cents a packet, that would give me enough pocket money & made me popular with the school kids.

I took the hospitality/ home economics subject in grade 10 and went on to study Food & Hospitality Management at the International Hotel School. I am a food-catering chef that is skilled in both Pastry & the Hot Kitchen. I don’t work in Restaurants or Hotels therefore I don’t have a specific or formal title.

Where does your food inspiration come from?
My food inspiration comes from my mom. I grew up in a family of six, my parents and my three siblings. My mom was a Teacher but she somehow managed to cook everyday & baked every weekend. She kept recipe books in the kitchen all the time, bought food magazines & actually followed the recipes. Watching her do all that grew onto me. As a girl child, I wanted to imitate my mom, help out in the kitchen and eat the cookie dough before it even reaches the oven! So I managed to make a career out of it.

Which of your dishes brings back the most memories for you?
“Jelly popcorn”, although it’s not a dish, I feel it needs to even get most of the credit for kick-starting my career, lol. Seafood Cataplana amongst other seafood dishes. I worked in Cape Town (Camps Bay) in 2009 and we got some of the best fish there so there was a point where they allowed me to experiment a little with the ingredients because the Hotel I worked for at the time, had about 4 Restaurants in Summer to keep up with the high demand to tourists & visitors in December.

What will it take to make you feel you’ve really made it?
My journey so far with the places I have worked for & the events that I have catered at, has been the best experience for where I want to end up. I have been in this Industry for over 8 years now, have been in business since 2011. I have catered for functions such as Macufe’s VIP marquee (which hosted about 2500 ppl), big local and international corporates & some wealthy private clients. I am 28 and have done so much but I know more is yet to come. My Company has just released a chilli sauce that comes in three flavors, a wonderful venture that grew by leaps & bounds. This has seen my interest in Food Processing & hopefully manufacturing grow. As soon as Mo’s Food & Pastries becomes a household name & our products are in 60% of consumers’ homes around the continent, I will know that I have reached one of my goals.

How can people book your services?
Mo’s Food and pastries can be reached via email on: info@mosfoodandpastries.com you may visit our website to see most of our work on www.mosfoodandpastries.com
For more pics on our work you may view our Instagram page: mo_foodnpastries or Twitter page @Mofoodnpastry

Khloe – Khloe’s Kitchen 

What inspired you to become a chef and what kind of chef are you?
Firstly my gran is a phenomenal cook and she passed the love of good food onto my aunt who is a pastry Chef. So naturally it would have been passed onto someone, it happened to be me. I have been cooking from the age of 10 and I haven’t stopped since. Cooking is in my DNA, it’s the only thing I know how to do. It’s a part of me. I remember spending my school holidays learning my aunt’s recipes and tricks, that are still very much to this day relevant. I am an all-rounder. I am flexible so I go back and forth between pastry and savoury.

Where does your food inspiration come from?
As mentioned above I get my inspiration from my aunt and gran but also my surroundings. I draw inspiration from anything honestly.

Which of your dishes brings back the most memories for you?.
I have always been obsessed with milk tart. It’s my grans favourite and we used to bond over it. We still do to this day. I never go back home and not bring mini milk tarts or better yet make one for her. I once read somewhere that Cinnamon is a mood booster which makes sense because I believe milk tart can uplift my spirit.

What will it take to make you feel you’ve really made it?
I believe I’m well on my way to be successful. The day I open up my own cooking studio I think is when I will feel I have made it. I did my practicals at Good Food Studio and I thoroughly enjoyed working there. My passion for teaching others to cook resurfaced and I would love to do that on a daily basis.

How can people book your services?
If you’d like to see some of my work you can visit my website www.khloeskitchen.co.za
Instagram: Khloebellekitchen or email:khloebelle17@icloud.com

Lelo Manoto – Chef Lelo 

What inspired you to become a chef and what kind of chef are you?
My mother was a cook, that was the first job she did straight out of school. So you can imagine that we did not eat ordinary food at home, it was always over the top. I really enjoyed being around her in the kitchen and while most of my siblings loathed the kitchen it was my favourite place to be but I ended up in the corporate world for the longest time. Haha! The universe had other plans in 2015 when I was retrenched and that’s how I ended up going to Culinary School to make it official and now there’s no turning back.

I am a “giving you a taste of home” type of Chef, although the food has to be pretty I strongly believe in taste, your food absolutely has to be flavourful and tasty. My Head Chef where I did my internship said I had the Hand of Flavour, so there you have it. Haha!

Where does your food inspiration come from?
My mother, she is so fearless in the kitchen ALWAYS trying out new things. Her food is very flavourful, innovative and also very tasty. So although I am professionally trained I still want that homely touch to the dishes I make. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people thoroughly enjoying a dish I have prepared. I have nothing against fine dining but I still prefer the taste of home.

Which of your dishes brings back the most memories for you?
My famous and unmatched Beef Lasagne, that is how I started extra making money while I was in high school. I made my mother lunch when she was going to work one day, it was my left over Beef Lasagne. My mother gave her lunch to her boss that day and he loved it so much that he offered to start paying me to make him frozen dinners. It’s still a winner to date! Undefeated!

What will it take to make you feel you’ve really made it?
I have always wanted a job that allowed me to travel while doing what I love and I have come to notice that South African cuisine is not big in other countries. Travelling the world and leaving a taste of South Africa wherever I go would definitely be a point where I feel like I have really made it.

 How can people book your services?
 cheflelo@lesdachef.com
Twitter: @Chef_Lelo
Instagram: chef_lelo1
Facebook: Lelo Manoto
Website: lesdachef.com

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