Bringing the flavours of South America to Africa

Migdalia Bellorin. Image: Orinoco Flavours Instagram.

Migdalia Bellorin. Image: Orinoco Flavours Instagram.

Published Apr 11, 2024


Bringing the flavours of South America to the shores of South Africa is something that the entrepreneur and owner of Orinoco Flavours of Latino America Mexican Kitchen is passionate about.

Venezuelan chef Migdalia Bellorin began her journey in the food industry in Cape Town in 2007 later moving her restaurant Orinoco Flavours to Gauteng.

Paying homage to her roots in South America, Bellorin told Business Report that she named her restaurant after the Orinoco river, which is one of the longest in South America, and flows through Venezuela and Colombia.

Her eatery is located at the popular Prison Break Market in Johannesburg, but this versatile businesswoman also appears at various pop up events and festivals in the country.

Bellorin said, “In addition to running the restaurant, I also host cooking classes for customers who are interested in learning how to cook Mexican food. I love sharing my culture with people and one of the best ways of doing this is through food.”

Having studied in Mexico to become a chef, Bellorin said that she was heavily influenced by her grandmother’s cooking.

Bellorin told Business Report, “Mexico City is where I began experimenting with a variety of flavours of Latino food. In 2011 I took a culinary pilgrimage through parts of Latin America that was less familiar to me and visited Argentina, Chile and Peru to search for new flavours to bring to Cape Town. When I returned to South Africa, I decided to open my own restaurant in Cape Town serving authentic Latino dishes from around the continent.”

As with many businesses in South Africa and around the globe, she took a hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, but Bellorin said that this did not deter her from continuing to pursue what she is most passionate about.

Bellorin says she hopes to one day develop her own cookbook.

Venezuelan chef Migdalia Bellorin. Photo: Supplied

“There are many things I would like to share from my personal experiences with my customers and introduce more playful dishes surrounding Latin flavours. Most people think that Mexican food is just that, but it is something different, there is so much more to it, almost like a mixing pot of the different Latin cultures, which is something I would like to show to South Africans.

“I hold cooking demonstrations for those who are interested, on the first Thursday of every month at our restaurant. I try to also take every opportunity that comes my way to share my food with as many people as possible. The next event that I have planned is the Mexican Festival that will be held at Monte Casino on the 4 May, where I will have a food stall selling our authentic Latin food.”

Some of the food available at the restaurant:

Meanwhile, a social media influencer who moved from Michigan to South Africa goes around in search of the best-tasting food in the country.

He came across Orinoco Flavours and shared his thoughts on the food.

Watch his video below: