Meet Dorah Sitole, veteran freelance food writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She styles for magazines and TV, presenting cooking shows and hosting cooking demos and workshops.
Q & A with Dorah
Question: What’s your goal/vision for this conference?
Answer: I’m so pleased with the #SAPOCTable conference – the timing is right. Actually, overdue. There is so much potential and talent in our midst that is not recognized and often just fades away. For years people of colour have felt lonely in their work spaces because the already established organizations catered for the needs of white people who obviously founded the organisations and therefore, set the agenda. Having an organisation initiated and driven by ourselves will help those coming into the industry to find a home, to enjoy affirmation and support. It would also be good to help those who’ve been in the industry for long to network and to continue growing.
Question: Name one person in this broader industry whom you look up to or a person who you really admire and why.
Answer: When I think of people I admire, Mokgadi Itsweng (@mokgadiitsweng) is top of mind. I love her enthusiasm, her deep love and knowledge for African food, her ‘I can’ spirit. She has done things I can only dream of: owning an African food restaurant, a catering company, a range of her own condiments, she was a food editor and food stylist. I’m also quite enthralled by Siba Mtongana (@sibamtongana), Yudhika Sujanani (@yudhikasujanani ), Cass Abrahams, Reuben Riffel (@chefreubenriffel).
Question: Fill in the following: Transformation in this industry (name your specific field or cause) will happen when…
Answer: I believe transformation will only happen when we believe and trust in our talents and creativity; embrace our rich colourful cultures and translate it onto our food. We must enjoy international cuisine whilst giving ours the honour and attention it deserves; we must be supportive of each other and celebrate each other’s achievements. We must be willing to mentor and train those who are new in the industry, and we always aim for excellence. Oh, and never let your guard down!
Question: What would you love people to know about you and your work?
Answer: Not everyone may know that I have been in the industry for 40 years! I’m supposed to be retired but, I’m enjoying my ‘encore years’. I would love to work on the 3rd Cooking from Cape to Cairo to feature the food from the countries I did not travel to in the previous two.