PROUD EXPORT: Nompumelelo Mqwebu with her award-winning cookbook.
Durban author and chef Nompumelelo Mqwebu is delighted that she has won the global award in China for the Best in the World First Book for Through The Eyes of an African Chef at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, in Yantai.

It is one of the largest international competitions in the industry, honouring the best in wine and food books as well as food television.

Having just landed back in South Africa, a delighted Mqwebu said: “I didn’t believe I had won. Only after coming back to South Africa is it really sinking in.

“I was having so much fun in China and, for me to have accomplished this, I feel overwhelmed.”

She said it was a tough competition, especially against Germany, which took the second prize, and that the award had opened many opportunities. She had already received a number of calls from culinary schools and one from UCT since touching down in the country.

“I can’t wait to share my African cuisine with young chefs and the whole idea of writing the book was to show the world that in Africa we are capable of producing good food,” she said.

“The Department of Tourism has also brought me on board to help create and brainstorm recipe ideas for our tourists.”

Mqwebu said: “This book is cultural education, a barrier-breaker in cultures and a bridge-builder.”

Mqwebu was born and raised in uMlazi. “My journey has certainly not been an easy one. I’m so grateful for my family and other key people in my life who have given me the support I’ve needed to achieve this kind of success,” she said.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded by Edouard Cointreau in 1995 and bring thousands of chefs, authors and publishers together.

Books from 205 countries vie for the awards. Entry is free.

PROUD EXPORT: Nompumelelo Mqwebu with her award-winning cookbook.