Chef from Soweto wins top award

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Princess Ramakokobu is this year's Sowetan Chef of the Year.

The victory for the 25-year-old from Soweto was announced at a gala dinner held at La Toscana restaurant in Montecasino, north of Johannesburg, this week.

Ramakokobu beat 11 other contestants who came from all corners of the country. She said she could not contain her excitement when the programme director, Sheila Bhengu, announced her as the winner.

She jumped with joy, hugging those who had accompanied her to the lavish event.

Ramakokobu said she had never been this happy in her life.

"I knew that I was going to take the title. I want to thank God and my family for giving me the courage to enter this competition," she said.

"I can now venture into my dream career - becoming a chef. Thank you Sowetan for making it possible," Ramakokobu said.

Ramakokobu scored against impressive and world-renowned chefs from the Hospitality Trainers Association and Culinary School of Arts. The judges said they were impressed by her understanding of food presentation and the use of kitchen utensils.

The first runner-up was Matamela Lilian Morobe, who prepared Venda-inspired cuisine.

The second runner-up was Flora Ramphisa, of Mbalenhle, in Secunda.