Tributes pour in for TV celebrity chef and author, Fatima Sydow

Fatima Sydow. Picture: Supplied

Fatima Sydow. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 20, 2023


Tributes from fans and industry peers have been pouring in on social media for celebrity chef, cookbook author, and television personality Fatima Sydow.

The popular chef who was well known for her vivacious personality and unwavering commitment to preserving and sharing the Cape Malay heritage passed away on Tuesday, December 19 at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, after battling soft tissue sarcoma since 2020.

“It is with deep sadness that we, the Sydow Family, announce the passing of our beloved sister, Fatima Sydow. As a renowned culinary artist and beloved personality, she has left an indelible mark on the culinary world.

“Inspired by her mother's ability to perform culinary miracles with few ingredients, creating dishes that generously fed many hungry stomachs, Fatima found the spark that would ignite her own culinary journey.

“As we bid farewell to a culinary visionary, let us remember Fatima for her enduring impact on the culinary world and the lives she touched with her warmth and expertise.

“May her legacy live on in the kitchens and hearts of those who continue to be inspired by her culinary artistry,” read the public family statement.

Since the news broke, devastated fans and industry peers paid tribute to her.

GlamFoodie wrote: “Rest in Peace #FatimaSydow. Thank you for being amazing.”

ChampionSouthAfrica wrote: “The passing away of Fatima Sydow is the passing away of South Africa’s champion of Cape Malay cooking. May Jannah ( heaven) be her abode.”

Tyrone Paulsen wrote: “My heart is broken, but I treasure the memories, the laughter, the music, the food & all that was you. #FatimaSydow may Allah grant you Jannatul Firdaus. Rest in Peace, my friend. Was never ready to say goodbye to you. Ek mis jou al klaar my vriend.”

NB Publishers also bid farewell to Sydow noting that they were honoured to have been a part of her literary journey.

Fatima’s Publisher, Lindy Samery said: “Fatima was more than an author, she became one of my good friends. We journeyed together on all her books – what a remarkable human. I am honoured to have known her. Fly high, my dearest Fati, till we meet again.”

Chief executive officer of NB Publishers Eloise Wessels said: “Fatima was a cook of unsurpassed skill, a delightful author, and the loveliest person. Our thoughts are with her loved ones in this sad time of unspeakable loss.”

According to the Sydow family, the culinary icon rose to prominence through her Facebook page, initiated in 2011.

“She was unapologetic about her background being from humble beginnings and continued to generously share herself with the community. Despite her ascent to culinary stardom, Fatima remained rooted in her origins, always embracing and celebrating the richness of her Cape Malay heritage.

“Her journey was not just about cooking; it was a heartfelt narrative of love, unity, and connection through the universal language of food,” they said.

Sydow’s Janazah will take place on Wednesday, December 20, at Taronga Road Masjid in Crawford, and she will be laid to her final resting place in Mowbray.