Since winning the Chefs Who Share Young Chef of the Year Award in 2016, she conducted her internship at the Michelin star restaurant, Vineet Bhatia in London, was part of the opening team at Sun International’s Time Square in Tshwane Gauteng, and now she’s moving to Sun International’s prestigious Table Bay hotel in Cape Town.
She joins The Table Bay’s culinary team as Pastry Chef. The hotel is revered for its emphasis on authentically South African food and sumptuous high tea.
Govender made her entrance into the hospitality industry at a lodge in Sabie, Mpumalanga, with a keen passion for pastries and sweets.
“The art of food and pastry is an essential and integral part of who I am,” she says, adding that ice cream is her favourite meal, even for breakfast.
Born and raised in Gauteng, she graduated from the Durban University of Technology with a diploma in catering management. Since starting her career seven years ago, she has enjoyed the mentorship of world-class chefs in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida.
This diversity of personalities, places, and cuisines has influenced the person and chef that she is today.
“I wouldn’t change anything. Life experience has made me into the pastry chef I am today. I am still continually inspired and excited by my work. Every day presents something new. It’s exciting and challenging,” says Govender, listing celebrity pastry chef Cherish Finden as her inspiration.
Young as she may be, she has enough experience to offer young aspiring chefs this advice:
“Being a chef isn’t easy. It means long, strange hours. It requires constant learning and innovation. You also need to be passionate about it. If you’re passionate about baking, don’t be afraid to pursue it as a career. Stay tremendously interested in it. Follow your heart and don’t let anyone tell you it cannot be done, it can!”
Guests can look forward to simple yet classic desserts and pastries, with a rejuvenating twist.