• fly fishing lodge on orange river karoo

My passion: Making food that brings people together

Posted by Frieda on Fri December 15, 2017 in The People behind the Business.

If you’ve ever been to the Karoo you’ll probably agree that it is a special place. There are many things that make it special, but if you close your eyes right now and picture the Karoo, I bet you the first thing that pops into your mind is a hearty meal prepared with love and passion. Michelin-star chefs are praised for well-balanced, beautifully plated and decadent dishes, but I believe that there is another skill that very few can master – a gift that has been forgotten by most, but lives on in humble places like the Karoo.

Growing up here, I saw how wholesome food could bring people together. My best memories are of my family, friends and even strangers sharing stories and laughs around a dinner table. Our family meals were prepared with passion and love for the people at the table – and it was always received with delight and extreme gratitude.

From a young age I had a great desire to combine my two passions: people and food. I wanted to learn how to make delicious, hearty food that could unite even strangers. Inspired by my people and my environment, I decided to pursue a career in the culinary industry – to get versed in the fine art of cooking soulful meals. But hotel school and the hospitality industry was not what I expected.

Chefs training is not for the faint hearted. At 19 years old, I was working among English and French speaking chefs and getting pushed to my utmost boundaries. I was trying my best to learn as much as possible about culinary arts while dodging flying food and verbal lashings. I later realised that the most important lesson I learned was not a culinary one. It was that nothing – absolutely nothing – comes easy. For 15 years I tried to live out my passion in the hospitality industry and as a lecturer, but I never experienced the freedom of being fully creative (and myself) until I moved back to the Karoo.

At Gkhui Gkhui I could finally merge my creativity with what I have learned, apply it to the environment I love and live out my passion the way I always wanted to. And the result? Fine and hearty meals that bring people together – even strangers. Especially strangers.