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10 Questions For: Stephen Mandes
This Cape Town-based chef is a culinary virtuoso. After winning the title of SABC3’s Ultimate Braai Master in Season 3, Stephen went on to become the Head Chef at the V&A Waterfront’s illustrious Mondiall Kitchen & Bar.
1. How would you describe what you do for a living?
I am like an [army] general leading soldiers through a busy service each and every day, constantly having to motivate and teach, and in this learn more about myself as a person and as a chef.
I remember having a swimming pool at my childhood home and my dad would wake us up early for a morning swim before school.
Auguste Escoffier, Nelson Mandela and Albert Einstein. My philosophy is, surround yourself with great people, and when they say great things…nod your head in agreement.
Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’. It’s just such a catchy tune.
5. How would you complete this sentence? The South African cabinet should include a Minister of ______________
All things delicious!
6. What would you say is the biggest misconception about you?
People may think being a chef is glamourous - it ain’t! It’s hard work, long hours and a lot of sacrifice.
7. What is your (honest) opinion of Cape Town?
It’s so beautiful! People are ALWAYS ON THE GO. It’s such a cool place to be as a young professional and in terms of food - in my opinion it’s the food capital of South Africa.
I am, and probably will always be very shy. I’ve overcome it somewhat having been on TV and having to meet new people every day. I handle that kind of pressure way better now.
I would like to have a flourishing restaurant of my own and have it become one of the country’s best.
Trevor Noah, I don’t really think he can dance, hey! Well, neither can I - it might be a stiff battle.
CapeTownMagazine.com’s 10 Questions project gets to know some of the Mother City’s most creative and inspiring people. From television personalities and musicians to politicians and entrepreneurs, we find out more about well-known and up-and-coming Capetonians. You can follow #CapeTownMag10Q on Twitter and Facebook to track recent interviews or read more here about our other awesome 10 Questions candidates.
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