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Youth Day: 5 young African chefs making waves in the culinary industry

Zimbali chefs. Picture Zanele Zulu/ANA Pics

Zimbali chefs. Picture Zanele Zulu/ANA Pics

Published Jun 16, 2022

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For many people whose hearts and minds are often controlled by their stomachs, a truly amazing meal can turn even their worst days into a pleasurable ones.

Food is strongly connected with our senses and forms an integral part of our identity as we grow up. An aroma, a bite, or a sip may summon lovely memories and take us to another time and place.

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African cuisine and chefs are finally receiving the recognition they deserve now more than ever. Are you still in the dark?

The following is a list of five young African chefs making waves in the culinary industry.

MMABATHO MOLEFE

Mmabatho Molefe is sweeping Cape Town city's culinary scene after becoming famous for her connecting the Long Table experience concept.

Mmabatho went on to open her restaurant Emazuluweni at Maker's Landing, a fine-dining restaurant that honours Zulu cuisine. Mmabatho has been a guest judge on MasterChef South Africa, collaborated with Studio H for Decorex Africa, and received the Newcomer prize at the Food XX awards, while Emazuluwini is gaining more media attention than ever for its fine-dining approach to Zulu cuisine.

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Follow her and the restaurant @emazulwini_restaurant and @mmab_atho to find out more.

OMPELEGE MOREOSELE

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Ompelege's purpose is very simple: to make salads cool again. She's focusing on using innovation and imagination to approach traditional Batswana dishes and ingredients.

She's written a recipe book called "Life on a Salad" and started a business called Food is Life. This young cook is only getting her feet wet.

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Follow her on Instagram to keep up with her latest culinary adventures: @ompelegemoreosele.

Chef Aya Gope (The Cook Dude)

Chef Aya, popularly known as The Cook Dude, has positioned himself very well in the culinary world.

When he worked as a Sous Chef at the Deck House in Cape Town, the youngster became a household name and was named Best Sea Food by Eat Out in 2016.

He's now embarked on a solo career as a private chef, catering for celebrities across the country.

He has cooked on the Expresso breakfast show and continues to push the envelope with his talent.

Follow the Cook Dude on social media

Twitter: @Aya_TheCookDude Instagram: @Aya_thecookdude Facebook: @TheCookDude

Vusumzi Ndlovu

The journey of Vusumzi Ndlovu covers two countries: Zimbabwe, where he was born, and South Africa, where he grew up.

Vusumzi Ndlovu, known as Chef Vusi, takes delight in being an outcast or pariah, always challenging the status quo and utilising his passion for the culinary arts to uplift himself, his cultural roots and his community.

In 2018, Chef Vusi won the prestigious title of "Best Young Chef in Africa" after winning a competitive S. Pellegrino competition. The S. Pellegrino Young Chef competition is a global search for the next generation of chefs.

Besides winning competitions, Ndlovu wants to leave a culinary legacy.

Follow Chef Vusi at - Vusi Ndlovu on Instagram for more.

Chef Marcus Modimokwane

Chef Marcus came to popularity during the national lockdown in South Africa, where he became a favourite chef thanks to his "easy to make at home meals" videos.

He partnered with a number of companies in order to show off the versatility of his products as well as his abilities.

Chef Marcus has a strong PR and marketing background, which he has used to his advantage. He has been featured in a number of publications and tv shows like the eTV Morning Show.

Follow Chef Marcus for more: Twitter: @ChefMarcusZA Instagram: @ChefMarcusZA Facebook: @ChefMarcusZA

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