A young chef, Oratile Ledwaba, more affectionately known as Rati the Cooking Kid, has amazed many people after displaying his culinary skills.
Ledwaba, a 10-year-old from Midrand, proved that anyone with a passion for cooking can be a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen.
At the age of four, he began to exhibit interest in watching cooking shows and preparing food, which led to the blossoming of his love for cooking.
His mother, Matlhogonolo Ledwaba, speaks affectionately about his culinary experience, pointing out a few noteworthy items that helped him gain popularity.
“He liked helping in the kitchen because he likes eating, so we thought it was just him liking food. But we realised that there's just something. Especially how he wanted to be hands-on. He also showed interest in cooking shows, and when he is quiet, you must just check what he is doing. At first, we thought it was just curiosity, but then when we saw his interest, that is how his journey started,” she said
“He really likes it; it is his passion. It is not something he is forced to do, so he volunteers to do it."
Rati’s passion for cooking inspired his mother to launch a kid's cooking club at the Breadbox Bakery & Studio at Midrand Carlswald Decor Centre, which has been running since 2019.
“I started with him and my brother's child; they are both boys. And my neighbour’s twins and my friends,” she said.
She says they do this in their studio in Midrand, opposite their bakery. It made sense for us; it’s been an absolutely amazing journey.
She also touches on allowing Rati to be a child despite his love for cooking.
“We allow him to be a child so that he can play with other kids.
“My hope is that he does well, whether he decides to take this as his career or not. I’ll support him in everything that he does. Sometimes when you ask him if he wants to be a chef when he grows up, I don't know where he heard the word, but he says, 'Maybe, it will be my side hustle.’ He says yes sometimes, but on other days he is not sure. But despite that, he has a big support system on his side."
Rati’s journey has not been smooth sailing. His mother revealed that he has encountered bullying and criticism because of his passion, but his family continues to shower him with love and support.
After a captivating culinary showcase of his talent, Rati says he has more surprises for Christmas for his family.
Among his big highlights is being featured on an e.tv morning show.