Meet the Cake King of Khal’tsha

2016-01-14 06:00
 Restaurateur Thulisile Celesi has been making cakes for locals in Khayelitsha and surrounds.  PHOTO: Manez Sobethwa

Restaurateur Thulisile Celesi has been making cakes for locals in Khayelitsha and surrounds. PHOTO: Manez Sobethwa

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Thulisile Celesi says his can be his rand’s worth in pounds that popular chef Jamie Olivier will lick his fingers should he ever visit his cake parlour in Khayelitsha and taste one of his treats.

This is not hard to believe, coming from a man who worked his way up from being a cleaner to chef and who now carries the esteemed honour of being regarded as the Cake King of Khayelitsha.

Celesi skill and personal touch has resurrected him as the go to guy for custom made cakes and other delicacies.

A visit to his Village House restaurant in Makhaza leaves one agog, watching him weave his magic with his extraordinary hands, and voilà, a tasty treat becomes the product of this efforts.

Celesi,49, popularly referred to as Rhadebe by clients and neighbours, started his restaurant in 2009 with the aim of creating a classy establishment in a place people least expected for such a business.

He specialises in wedding, birthday, baby shower and birthday cakes.

With the wedding season of April to June drawing closer, Celesi has been a busy man, taking orders but the City Vision team managed to squeeze an interview, where he recalled his journey in the hospitality industry.

“I started off as a cleaner in 1987 at the Ritz Protea Hotel in Sea Point but as the years went by I was promoted to being a cook.

The more I was trained in-house, the more I moved around working for other hotels in the Protea group until I became head chef,” he recollected.

He said he hen decided that he did not wish to reach old age without ever having owned his own establishment.

His premises also serve as a fast-food outlet, selling amagwinya, fried chips and traditional foods such as samp and tripe.

The Village House has also become a tourist attraction, but it’s his baking skills that he is renowned for.

“I started making cakes for church related events and word went around. I also make muffins and scones on order,” He said that his close to 30 years in the hospitality industry gives his cakes a special edge over others.

“This means that my customers can enjoy their cakes for longer which is really important,” he said.

He said that his dream is to own his own hotel or resort where he will make proper use of his experience. He also had a special message for local entrepreneurs: “It’s hard starting a business but if you work hard and do the right things you will succeed.”

He cakes are made to order, and he can be reached on Facebook or 0731938685.

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