We Chat to one of SA’s Favourite Foodie, Zola Nene


Celebrity chef Zola has made Mzansi fall in with love her. We chat about her cookbook, and being on SABC 3’s morning show Expresso. Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 2.38.39 PM Where did the love for food come from? I grew up eating really well because both my mom and my late maternal grandmother were good cooks. I think they definitely played a role in me finding my passion for food. Even at a young age I was taking cookbooks out of the library to admire the pictures and experiment with some of the recipes. My mom was always open to letting me play around in the kitchen. What dish reminds you of home or childhood memories? Mealie bread and lamb curry are two dishes that pretty much define my childhood. My mom is the queen of curries, having learnt the art of curry-making from an Indian neighbour when we were living in Durbans. She has mastered the art of an authentic Durban curry and her lamb one was definitely a constant feature at the dinner table while growing up. Even now, whenever I go home, the first thing I ask my mom to make for me is her lamb curry. If you weren’t a chef what would you be? I'd probably be a lawyer as that was my first career choice after all. I enrolled to study BCOM Law after matric, but after two years, I knew it wasn't the career path for me. I chose to pursue the culinary arts instead. What is the best place you’ve seen or travelled to and why? Paris is just so beautiful. The food, the wine and the people are just so fabulous. I had such high expectations when I went to visit, and it definitely didn't disappoint. How was it putting together your cookbook? How did you decide what goes in and what doesn’t? Putting the book together was one of the best experiences I've ever had, it was the opportunity to tell my food story and have it in print forever. Because the book is my personal food journey, choosing the recipes to include was pretty simple. It's basically a compilation of all the recipes that have been significant in all of my different life stages. I'm so proud of how the book turned out, it is a true reflection of me, it still makes me smile when I page through a copy. What moments are you waiting for that you feel will define your success? The moment I have my very own show will be a huge moment of success for me, it will be a definite dream come true. Fingers crossed it will be soon, watch this space!

Pics: Gunther Schubert

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