By Thembelani Mkhize
It’s widely known that one of the quickest ways to a man’s heart is through his gaming console but the tastiest way is through his stomach.
Cooking is more than just two pots with a pan or a great way to show love and appreciation to your partner and Chef Nthabi is here to show us why.
Nthabiseng Molefe (pictured, above) is a passionate 32-year-old chef from Mpophomeni township who is creating her own legacy. She runs a catering company named Nthabi’s Taste. They cater for weddings, events, gatherings, conferences or even family meals if you don’t feel like cooking or getting fast food takeaway.
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In a few weeks’ time, Nthabi’s Taste is holding its first cooking class, which promises to be an educational culinary experience and romantic (if a little belated) Valentine’s gift.
Cooking with Nthabi will offer participants an action-packed class that includes a four-course meal, where participants will learn how to make dishes such as elevated chicken livers for starters, lasagne with seasonal salad for the main course and a dessert, in the form of a decadent chocolate mousse, plus other options. Couples are welcome to join the class together to stir up their love life at this most romantic time of year.
Molefe started her business during the height of last year’s nationwide lockdown.
“It’s surprising that it took a pandemic to make us aware of all the opportunity. It was like a wake-up call,” she says. “That we had closed our borders and couldn’t move around much meant that people were forced to start thinking and buying local and we, as local suppliers, had to step up and bring what we had to the table,” she added.
That consumption of alcohol was forbidden and provincial borders closed, meant many people stayed at home, prepared their own food, ate local and ordered in when they could afford it.
The young culinary artist says her loves for cooking stems from her heart and is rooted by her loving late grandmother Puleng Molefe, with whom she used to prepare the family meals from a young age. She is a self-taught chef but attributes her skills to her former employers at the Victorian Café, a popular restaurant located inside the Howick Falls Hotel, where she worked after finishing school at Mpophomeni High, and her last place of employment, Reagans in Howick.
“I love the adrenaline rush you get in the kitchen. I have been getting a lot of people asking me to open classes, some are even asking me to open my own place. I was like, why not? I have been pregnant for too long with this information, my love and passion for cooking, so it is time I face my fears and give birth to this thing and see where it lands me,” said Molefe.
The avid cook says her dreams for Nthabi’s Taste go way beyond catering for weddings and baby showers. She would like to open her own place one day, where she can serve and host top tier events and create employment opportunities for people in a time when unemployment is a crisis in SA.
One of Molefe’s biggest challenges right now is branching out and reaching more clients while creating a corporate identity that goes along with her grounded approach to business. She is working on that though and hopes that pretty soon Nthabi’s Taste will be a household name.
When: March 6 and 7, 2021, 9.30am (transport from Mpoph taxi rank from 8.30am).
Cost: The class is reasonably priced at under R1 100 for two days of delightful delicacies. (See flyer above for contact details and more information).
*Seats are limited, with only a handful of places left.