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Nompumelelo Mqwebu turns up the heat in the kitchen with Top Billing
Top Billing cooks with chef and author Nompumelelo Mqwebu
Hailing from KZN where her cooking inspirations were her father and grandmother, Nompumelelo Mqwebu first catered at family functions. After cookery school, she was a restaurant and game lodge chef before starting her business ‘Africa Meets Europe Cuisine’.
While food has always been a passion, it was her time at culinary school that opened her eyes to how local recipes and ingredients were being overlooked. Seeing this opportunity to support local flavours, Nompumelelo wrote her recipe book “Through the Eyes of an African Chef”, which won her a top prize at the prestigious Gourmand Awards World Cookbook Awards.
What made Nompumelelo especially proud was that the awards allowed her to represent our country, cuisine and ingredients, and that she won the top prize in the middle of Africa Month!
Her recipes call on a variety of local produce and ingredients, and to get indigenous crops grown commercially, the chef began to commission ingredients from urban food gardens, supporting incredible local businesses.
As the grandchild of an entrepreneur, Nompumelelo now helps other women to innovate in their businesses, such as Refiloe Molefe, director of Bertrams Food Garden.
While helping others, Nompumelelo’s own journey to self-publishing took five years. Accumulating recipes as she honed her writing skills through food articles, she eventually had a totally original cook book, featuring mouthwatering dishes ranging from Baobab smoothies to pumpkin pudding and ostrich roasts.
Next, Nompumelelo hopes to host the 4th Mzansi Culinary Festival!