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Growing up in rural Pongola, meet the young chef who is a star, definitely on the rise – Thandeka Nxumalo the Head Chef at Pakamisa Private Game Reserve

Having passed Matric with distinctions and fluent in English one would have thought that she may want to pursue her options in the city, but Thandeka had other ideas. She loved the hospitality industry and more importantly, she wanted to be a Chef. 

She had after all been serving up meals at home since she was a little girl. She had always had a passion for cooking so when she heard that there was a kitchen vacancy at Pakamisa, she jumped at the opportunity. This was way back in 2009 and Thandeka began her journey as a kitchen assistant at the prestigious lodge. It was not long before the owner, Isabella Stepski, recognised her potential and Thandeka moved up the ranks. Since then, under the guidance of Ms. Sonto Buthelezi, who was Head Chef at the time, Thandeka has grown from strength to strength. She learnt everything she could from her mentor as well as every other person who joined the Pakamisa team, soaking up the information like a sponge.

Today, Thandeka is the new Head Chef at Pakamisa who constantly strives to ensure culinary excellence. The reputation of Pakamisa’s gourmet kitchen continues to grow under her guidance but so does she. She is constantly learning and pushing herself to be better and to ensure that discerning diners receive the excellent dining experience they have come to expect at the establishment.

Her creativity and passion are evident in every plate of food that leaves her kitchen. Each beautifully presented plate is a delight to the taste buds.

Pakamisa 1


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