Meet the DRUM Food Ambassador judges!

By Drum Digital
06 March 2019


Finding the ultimate chef is a tough job – but these fab foodies are up for the challenge

The quest is on to find the 2019 DRUM Food Ambassador in association with SA Pork. Get to know our panel of celebrity judges and industry greats who’ll make the final selection. They’re well-versed in all things food, with a finger on the pulse with our DRUM readers. Learn more about the judges and what they’re looking for in the next DRUM Food Ambassador, and find out what are their favourite dishes – it can’t hurt to have some extra info! You can also get in on the fun and vote on



The Lazy Makoti chef Mogau Seshoene

The Lazy Makoti, Mogau Seshoene,  is anything but idle – with a successful career as a chef; a TV show; Cooks for Life under her belt; and a best-selling book, The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen. This fab foodie gave up the corporate life for a career as a chef and it’s been a fulfilling move in more ways than one.

Qualities you’re looking for in a DRUM Food Ambassador?

  • Obviously someone who is an excellent cook, but also someone who takes great care in presenting their food – presentation is everything.

What does your winning dish look or taste like?

  • My winning dish tastes great with lots of flavour. A cook who uses interesting ways to make everyday ingredients exciting – no using intimidating ingredients that are hard to find.

What is the criteria you would judge on?

  • Taste, visual appeal and ease of recipe.

What’s your family’s favourite dish?

  • Pork belly or tripe curry.

Deputy editor of DRUM magazine Mathawe Matsapola

The deputy editor of DRUM magazine also joins the judging panel. She’s in tune with DRUM’s readers and will share her voice while channelling her love for food and experimenting with new dishes – which she does for her two daughters who keep her on her toes when it comes to preparing meals.

What are you looking for in a DRUM Food Ambassador?

  • The person must be a great cook and be passionate. They must be willing to experiment and try different recipes and have organisational skills.

What does your winning dish look or taste like?

  • It must be something readers can easily prepare at home – and not too oily.

Why do you love cooking with pork?

  • You can never go wrong with pork. It’s good for one’s health as it is the source of high-quality protein.

What is the criteria you would judge on?

  • Presentation, taste and passion.

Celebrity chef Zola Nene

The Great South African Bake Off judge will be lending her talents – and her taste buds – to help us choose the DRUM Food Ambassador for 2019. The sassy celebrity chef is a food stylist and the author of Simply Delicious. You may also have seen her on the Expresso Show sharing tasty dishes and experimenting with flavours.

Describe your ideal DRUM Food Ambassador.

  • Someone who has a passion for food and is experimental with flavours and cooking methods. Someone with new and innovative ideas to get people excited to try new things.

Why do you love cooking with pork?

  • Pork is a great lean protein to use, it’s so versatile and can be prepared in so many ways. Pork cuts are also more affordable and cost-effective when compared with other meat.

What is the criteria you would judge on?

  • Taste, appearance, technique and innovation.

What’s your family’s favourite dish?

  • Definitely lamb curry.


Chef Ukhonaye Mconi

Ukhonaye will be bringing his chef insights to the competition. The Capsicum Culinary Studio alumni and lecturer worked as a chef in Florida, USA and shared his culinary skills on Afternoon Express, doing promos and cook-a-longs. He also worked with Food Network’s The Private Chef Neill Anthony Vaughn and chef Matt Manning.

Describe your winning dish.

  • I’m looking for colour, texture, height, display of different skills and techniques, as well as seasoning and complementary flavours.

Why do you love cooking with pork?

  • Pork is life, I call myself a porkatarian. It’s one of my favourite ingredients to cook with and eat because of the deep flavours you get out of it and so many delicious ways to prepare it.

Criteria to judge on?

  • Creativity, freshness, colour, texture, skill and versatility of ingredient.

What’s your favourite dish?

  • Smoked paprika ribs with mash and apple slaw.

SA Pork marketing manager Marieta Human

Meet Marieta, the marketing manager of South African Pork. She started her career as a junior food editor for a leading women’s magazine, has co-authored recipe books and lent her talents to many a marketing campaign. Marieta’s passion is to study, simplify and apply the latest food trends to develop recipes that are easy and delicious.

Describe your DRUM Food Ambassador.

  • Our new DRUM Food Ambassador needs to be disciplined, motivated and open to new ideas and possibilities. He or she will have a passion for learning, cooking and creating exciting dishes.

Why do you love cooking with pork?

  • South African pork is a world-class, quality product. It is the most versatile of all meats. The recipe development possibilities to combine exciting tastes, textures, flavour profiles and ingredients with pork are almost unlimited.

What’s your family’s favourite dish?

  • I have two! A fragrant, spicy, pork trotter curry – eaten with samp – and a deboned pork loin stuffed with walnuts, breadcrumbs, cheese and herb.

Think you’ve got what it takes

Share your delicious recipes for a starter, a main course and a dessert. You could win awesome perks, including a contract worth R100 000, an opportunity to collaborate with the DRUM Food team and SA Pork – and have your recipes featured on all our platforms.

To upload your entry and for more information and T’s and C’s, head to 

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