Nompumelelo launches her cookbook in sheer style

Revered chef, food writer and former head chef at Zimbali Lodge, Nompumelelo Mqwebu, recently hosted a gala cocktail to launch her much anticipated cookbook, Through The Eyes of An African Chef.

By: Lin Aztekville
All Photos by Lin

After returning from the Frankfurt Book Festival, where the book sold out, Nompumelelo hosted a gala cocktail evening to mark the arrival of her cookbook. The event was hosted at a chic home in Parktown, which created an intimate night complemented by food, music and conversation.

A toast to Nompumelelo

Through The Eyes of An African Chef sees Nompumelelo exploring South African indigenous recipes and giving them a unique and modern twist. She takes traditional dishes like Amadumbe, uPhuthu, uMleqwa, Is’gwampa and serves them in a relevant way.

A Mentee preparing one of Nompumelelo’s dishes

During her talk, Nompumelelo stressed the importance of us learning about our food and how this will help preserve our culture.

“For me this is an important book for history because our children need to have a food identity that they can hold on to,” she explained.

“As our children leave South Africa, to go to other countries they need to be able to share their culture.

Whenever I have gone to another country, nobody cared how well I knew French food or how well I can do pasta. They wanted to know about my culture, my food and my ingredients. I believe if we can give our children that, it will take them and us forward.”

Nompumelelo signing the books

Former The Voice SA contestant and singer Zoë Modiga, who was also in attendance, complimented the chef and said she represents the beautiful part about African culinary and that she inspires her as an artistic scholar.

Left: singer Zoë Modiga, Right: Owner of Tintfo le Tinhle Vuyo Dlamini.

She responded to her by saying that we should always celebrate what makes us unique as people.

“You can always try to be like anybody but it’s what makes you unique that will make you outstanding,” she added.

Singer Pilani Bubu performing

Read our full interview with Nompumelelo:  A Chef’s dream to remind us about the delights of African Cuisine

Her book is available at the Culinary and Pastry School, In Maboneng. 

Also at Tintfo le Tintle Boutique, 339 Jan Smuts Avenue and Exclusive books, in Rosebank and Dainfern Square.

Or directly at throughtheeyesbook.com

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