Meet the Chefs taking part in The Mzansi Food & Drink Show

by Tia

South Africa’s biggest culinary extravaganza, The Mzansi Food & Drink Show, is set to take place at the Kyalami International Convention Centre over the long weekend of 15 to 17 June that also includes Father’s Day (June 16) and Youth Day (June 17).

Visitors to the show will be able to enjoy food and drink tastings, cooking demos, masterclasses, braai competitions, exclusive offers and a marketplace filled with gastronomic delights. It promises to be a fun-filled event, catering for the whole family.

Some of the country top chefs and cooks will be in action at the show demonstrating their favourite recipes in the Fine Food & Wine section of the show. These include:

Chef Aiden Pienaar

Top chef and author of the best-selling cookery book Mexico in Mzansi, Pienaar brings local flair to traditional Mexican favourites, from classics such as mole, refried beans and nachos, to innovations including Crispy Asian-style Chicken Tacos, Mexican Chakalaka and Chilli Con Carne Vetkoek. Visitors to the show can watch Pienaar making one of the stand out recipes from his book – Sosatie and Boerie Tacos with Crispy Pap Squares, Fresh Corn Tacos and Garlic Mayo. Port Elizabeth born but now a resident of Sandton, Pienaar is currently the Head Chef at Second Story, Sandton City.

Chef Pieter Malan

Malan started his journey in the restaurant industry at the tender age of 12, working as a waiter, before studying at the HTA School of Culinary Art in Johannesburg. He has since worked as an executive chef at several luxury Lowveld lodges. In 2017, he opened his own restaurant, The Blueprint which, in its first year of opening, was recognised with an EAT OUT award for the Best Bistro in Mpumalanga. He competed in the reality TV cooking show Kokkedoor where he was the youngest professional chef in the series and took third spot which led to the radio and TV series Die PappaChef Show. Malan was awarded a bronze medal in his debut culinary Olympic performance in Germany earlier this year where he showcased West African cuisine. He is currently the executive group chef for the Fiesta Royale Hotel Group in Ghana which was awarded the Best African Cuisine global winner by the World Luxury Restaurant Awards in 2023. Showgoers can catch him in action at the Food & Wine Demo Theatre on Saturday and Sunday at 11h00.

Lorna Maseko

Beginning her career as the first black prima ballerina in South Africa, Maseko moved seamlessly into the culinary world and quickly became a household earning accolades as an award-winning celebrity chef. Her culinary prowess shone on the inaugural season of Celebrity MasterChef where she impressed as one of the final six contestants. Inspired by this experience, Lorna launched Cooking with Lorna and Friends and later expanded her repertoire into television hosting with Top Chef: South Africa and producing and hosting The Hostess with Lorna Maseko, a lifestyle reality series blending food and entertainment. Her 2018 debut cookbook, Celebrate with Lorna Maseko, received international acclaim and earned two Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Her TV career has continued to flourish, garnering a Taste Award in 2021 for Lorna with a Pinch of Salt and the aforementioned The Hostess with Lorna Maseko. Maseko also recently completed the second season of her BBC Lifestyle show Homegrown SA and is currently working on season two of Celebrating with Lorna Maseko for Recipe.TV in the United States.

Chef Zana Alvarado

Chef Zana is a woman of many talents. The mom of two started out as a news anchor and radio presenter but, while living in the UK, she worked on the PR campaign for a big food festival called Taste of London where she got to meet some of the top chefs in the world and watch them create. It was then that she began to see food, not just as a source of nutrition, but as a creative outlet. Alvarado is currently a top chef, culinary consultant, recipe developer and food social media influencer. She and can often be found at various markets running Mestizo, an authentic Mexican food pop-up or supporting her husband who runs Filligrana, maker of the Peruvian Alfajore treats. Alvarado currently holds the position of Vice Chair for SA Chefs Gauteng Committee and is a brand ambassador for WWF SASSI where the focus is on sustainability in SA’s marine resources.

Also a must-see at The Mzansi Food & Drink Show:

  • The South African Chefs Association (SA Chefs) Chef of the Year Gauteng Regional Finals Competition. The cook-off will see 10 participants competing against each other on each of the first two days (June 15 and 16), with the winner from each day going head-to-head in the finals that will happen on Monday, June 17. There are two age categories in the competition – a junior division (18 to 27-years old) and a senior division (28 to 45) that will compete in the Hot Kitchen and Pastry categories
  • The Mzansi Junior Chef of the Year competition in which Mzansi youth display their cheffing skills live on Youth Day!
  • Chef Seham invites the little ones to join her in The Moody Chef Little People’s Kitchen for a whirlwind of creativity! Kids can dive into baking, cupcake creations, sugar cookie decorating, cake pops dipping & decorating and more! Chef Seham will guide them through the process, teaching techniques and sharing her passion for food. Whether they dream of being the next pastry chef or simply want to have fun in the kitchen, The Moody Chef Little People’s Kitchen is the place to be! It’s not just about cooking – it’s about bonding, laughter, and making memories together.

And there’s so much more so check out the full three day programme details on The Mzansi Food & Drink Show website.

Tickets for The Mzansi Food & Drink Show can be booked via

The Mzansi Food & Drink Show

  • Kyalami International Convention Centre
  • Saturday, 15 June, from 09h00 to 18h00
  • Sunday, 16 June (Father’s Day) from 09h00 to 18h00
  • Monday, 17 June (Youth Day) from 09h00 to 17h00

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