Hailing from Serowe, Chef Naledi is also a brand ambassador for Lamb and Mutton SA. She has featured in a number of publication such as True Love, True Love Food, PnP FreshLiving, Bona magazine to name a few. Other accomplishments under her sleeve include receiving an award at the 2019 African Authors Awards, which was a collaborative effort between herself and Fatuma Abdulla of Akiki Dolls. She signatures her eatery by creating a perfect balance between great foods for the family home while ensuring it stays healthy and nutritional.
With a background of a professional nutritionist, combined with her expertise gained at HTA School of Culinary Arts, she has succeeded at bringing delicious meals using everyday ingredients into the South African home. Recipes that are easy to prepare for the family, by the whole family. Food brands partner with her for recipe creation that inspires consumers to love home cooking.
This week she had a chat with Executive Life on her journey to becoming one of the most celebrated Chefs, that have set the bar a notch high.
“My journey hasn’t been the typical chef journey simply because I carved it to be a different one. The culinary industry has so many aspects to it and for me, it was never about just cooking. It was about teaching, creating value that in turn, will have an impact in the lives of those I come across, physically or digitally. This is the legacy I would like to leave, she said.
“I have therefore never worked in a hotel or restaurant. I qualified in 2016 and at that time, I was already running a catering company. I then also did short courses to become an accredited facilitator, assessor and moderator.”
She had a picture in her mind, of where she was headed with her skills and how she wanted things to turn out for her. Which is to teach families, children and helpers and that meant she had to enroll to study nutrition.
“I needed to part great in depth nutrition knowledge but in the simplest form. This has brought me to where I am now: to the launch of ‘Cook with Chef Naledi’, an online resource that has recipes, nutritional education and fun quizzes. This has been done in collaboration with a number of South African brands and organizations and hopefully will move to more international brands,” she said,
Having lived in South Africa almost her whole life, she attest to the fact that she has grown fond of the place and it has now become her home. Which made it easier for her to penetrate her market and build her name as well as incorporating hard work to her craft.
“The greatest way to make a mark, is to offer something that is of value to the end user. I have done this by just doing what I love. I recognized the need to have simple nutritious recipes that will involve the entire family while using the basic ingredients as well. It has only been through hard work, dedication and love for what I do, that I got to be featured in different platforms, especially on media and cooking shows,” Chef Naledi explained.
“I love how we are almost borderless between Botswana and South Africa. We are all into trying new recipes and learning new ways of cooking. Not only cooking methods but also new ingredients. Health and nutrition is becoming an important topic in a lot of homes therefore the appetite for trying new recipes is quite high. Cook with Chef Naledi aims to make this easy. An educational resource with recipes and nutritional information.”
When quizzed on where she sees her brand in years to come she said, “I would like to see myself working more with brands and organizations that are well aligned with my values. My dream is to work with organizations such as World Food Program, UNICEF etc. This is where I believe there will be an impact in knowing how to turn our everyday food into some simple yet nutritious dishes.”