Meet Chef Vusumuzi Ndlovu who took home the kudos for being one of the top 7 in this year’s S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Awards…
“If it doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t go on the menu,” once said celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. These are the words that James Khoza, executive chef at Sandton Convention Centre and president of the South African Chefs Association, lives by.
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When did your culinary journey start?
After studying Food & Beverage Management at Wits Technikon, my culinary journey really began at the Sandton Sun in 1995. I believe I’m now an old hand in this industry, but I learn every day.
What’s the best part about working at SCC?
It’s humbling seeing great multitudes of people who travel extensively enjoy the meals I prepare for them. My favourite cuisine to cook is local cuisine – there’s nothing better than oxtail that’s been braised, deboned, pressed, breaded and then fried, or whole tripe boiled and then fried in a breadcrumb.
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Is it frowned upon for men to enjoy cooking in your culture?
In the African culture, cooking is mostly associated with women – it’s considered unmanly if a man is seen in the kitchen. I grew up in Dobsonville, Soweto, so it was tough when I first took an interest in cooking, but I’ve grown into the profession and now stand to dispel this misplaced conception.
How would you describe the newly launched menus?
Fresh, soulful, health-conscious and
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Tell us about some of the well-loved icons you’ve cooked for.
Because SCC hosts large-scale international events, the list is endless. Nelson Mandela, Barrack Obama, Cyril Ramaphosa, Bill Clinton, Thabo Mbeki and Jack Ma are just a few off the top of my head. Other career highlights include working with the late Dr Bill Gallagher and working at the InterContinental Berlin.
How have your travels influenced your cooking?
I’ve been to France, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand and a few African countries. Experiencing these countries’ different cultures and respectful approach towards their own indigenous ingredients and food made me
Candice, the Editor of Hello Joburg Magazine, is a coffee-drinking, fashion-obsessed lover of anything and everything lifestyle related. She’s also a self-confessed foodie, champagne enthusiast and devoted bargain hunter.