Culinary Queens – Wonderful Women in SA Food

As Women’s Day rolls around I thought I would take some time to acknowledge and celebrate some fabulous South African women who are cooking up great things. The food and beverage industry is a tough one at best and has been hard hit over the last year and a half. It’s always rewarding to see South African women getting out there and making a difference, so here is my roundup of some incredible women who are true culinary queens.

Mo Lewis – Owner of The Accidental Baker

Mo is an entrepreneur and baker hailing from Calitzdorp in the Western Cape. Mo started her journey when struggling to find good quality bread in the town. So in true entrepreneurial fashion she decided to start making her own and is now the proud owner of The Accidental Baker. All her breads are made with farmer stoneground flour milled from regionally sourced, organic wheat and specialty grains. She has since expanded the bakery to include a cafe where you can enjoy fresh baked goods as well as a stunning view. 

Check out her bakery and cafe here: The Accidental Baker

Mmabatho Molefe – Chef and owner of Emazulwini Restaurant

It’s always a refreshing change of pace to see women who own restaurants. With past experience at both the prestigious Roundhouse restaurant as well as Aubergine, Mmabatho took her unique culinary take on the road and established her own restaurant. She takes great pride in Zulu heritage and the name emazulwini means ‘heaven’ in isiZulu. She uses her history to create delicious authentic African dishes with a modern twist at her Cape Town restaurant. You can enjoy set menus made with local ingredients and crafted to perfection with both meaty and vegetarian options available. 

Make a booking for some heavenly South African cuisine here: Emazulwini Restaurant

Maria Van Zyl – Owner of Cream of the Crop Cultured Butter

Influenced by her mother who had grown up on a dairy farm in Ireland and provided the family with homemade dairy products, Maria now provides South Africa with some of the tastiest cultured butter around. Made with high quality cream from cows milked only once a day, her butter is a refreshing organic take on a classic staple. The cream comes from grass fed jersey cows, which is then cold-fermented and turned into this one-of-a-kind butter. Cream of the Crop Cultured Butter offers cultured butter, double thick yoghurt, and ghee. They also offer online workshops where you can learn to make your own.

Get your bit of butter and get in touch on Instagram: Cream of the Crop Cultured Butter

Deirdre Cargill – Chef and owner of Fearless Foods

When it is time for something sweet, Dierdre is just the wonderful woman to provide it. Diedre is the chief sweet maker and owner of Fearless Foods. She also runs cooking workshops for parents and kiddies through Tots and Pots. With an extensive global career in 5 star restaurants and fine dining, Diedre launched Fearless Foods in 2020. She sells stunningly packaged artisanal fudges and sweets and you can have them delivered anywhere in the country. Culinary confections made by a master chef – that’s sure to put a sweet smile on your face.  

Treat yourself and order from Deidre here: Fearless Foods

Aneesa Seale – Baker and owner of Aneesah’s Cakes 

Aneesa is a budding and brave entrepreneur with a passion for baking. Initially a bookkeeper and wage clerk, Aneesha had always dreamed of owning her own eatery. Through passion and persistence, she did just that to open Aneesah’s Cakes in Bonteheuwel. Open during the day from Tuesday to Sunday you can pop in and enjoy breakfast, lunch or a daily selection of scrumptious cakes. You can also order cakes and cupcakes for any occasion and I must say they really will impress your guests. 

Have your cake and eat it too here: Aneesah’s Cakes

As a woman carving my own little niche in the culinary world, it is always a pleasure for me to see other women overcoming obstacles and following their passion to make something extraordinary. Take time to celebrate the South African women in your life and take pride in everything they do, not just on Women’s Day but every day of the year! 
And if you want to check out my own contributions to the cooking industry you can visit my books page and indulge in some carefully crafted recipes – all tried and tested by yours truly. I really pour loads of time and love into each recipe in every book. If you want a taste, you can check out the selection here: Chantal Lascaris – Books.

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