The SA food & beverage industry needs to be transformed. Instagram
When founder of the first SA People of Colour at the Table, Ishay Govender-Ypma welcomed people to the inaugural gathering she did so with a rallying call to action.

Ishay said: “The revolution is at the door and we are welcoming her in,” and it was echoed with rapturous applause.

The Salt River venue became a collaborative platform for people of colour and allies to get together and discuss the challenges and changes needed in the local food & beverage industry.

Some of the highlights was a panel discussion on indigenous ingredients, taking food kback to the township and black people in the publishing world.

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Hello! I’m the founder of the South African POC at the Table initiative and curating this free, community-minded event, with great help and guidance from @byzayaankhan. In a short space of time we have networked and collaborated with some of the strongest and most interesting POC (or black, as you like it) voices in food, bev, the related creative fields too. From farmers to cooks to sommeliers to writers and activists. All in one room. We truly wish we could accommodate more. It’s for and by POC and we can’t wait to gather together. It booked out solid three times now. Programme link in bio. It’s 🔥Follow @sapoctable MEDIA: direct queries to me via DM or [email protected] Thank you to Soute, the incredible venue we have, to all involved and all the help in the background including anon donations. Allies, we love you ✊🏾 🎶 Stay tuned: 5 PM networking and after party - we’re opening it to members who can’t attend and to other POC in the industry who couldn’t get a seat and POC allies. 🥃 #travelnoire #blackexcellence #blackgirlmagic #chefs #chefsofinstagram #indigenous #indigenousfood #foodhistory #foodsovereignty #decolonize #SAPOCTable #equality #foodmedia #kitchens #consciouskitchen #food #EATT

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Stalwarts and pioneers in the food space, Dorah Sithole and Cass Abrahams were also in attendance and shared their wisdom and teachings with the group.

It was a holistic approach to the food & beverage industry in SA.

Dietician Mpho Tshuduku commented that “you cannot remove nutrition from heritage” when discussing better utilisation of the fruit, vegetables, herbs and roots we have access to.

This conference was the start of a conversation about inclusion and transformation in a sector that thrives on importing the products and culinary techniques from foreign shores at the expensive of SA’s heritage and food.