Katlego Mlambo

Say hello to Katlego Mlambo, who was the Senior Sous Chef of The Luke Dale Roberts Group and is currently head of Marabi Club in Johannesburg.

Q & A with Katlego

Question: Who is Katlego?

Answer: I am a young passionate chef who would like to change the world one plate at a time. I believe life is too short to eat mediocre food, and the question I pose is: “Do we live to eat? Or do we eat to live?” Food is the one thing that can bring people together from all races and backgrounds.

Question: What’s your goal/vision for this conference?

Answer: My goal is to try and inspire the next generation of chefs from disadvantaged backgrounds. My desire is to be a good mentor, as being a chef is not all sunshine and roses. I would like to share my story and experiences to put South African cuisine on the world map.

Question: Name one person in this broader industry whom you look up to or a person who you really admire and why.

Answer: I admire American chef Grant Achatz. He developed stage 4 cancer of the mouth and lost his sense of taste. He had to incorporate his other senses in order to create exciting food. He inspires me because he had to work around such a huge obstacle, where he could have easily given up. He has achieved 3 Michelin Stars and is a well-renowned chef worldwide.

Question: Fill in the following: Transformation in this industry (name your specific field or cause) will happen when…

Answer: Transformation in the restaurant industry will only happen when there are enough people of colour who are good mentors, to influence the next generation of creatives.

Question: What would you love people to know about you and your work?

Answer:  I want chefs to know that every day is a school day and you can learn something from anyone in the kitchen from a student to the sculler. A huge ego will take you nowhere. So be humble, put your head down and have humility. I put passion into my food and use my past experiences (good and bad) as inspiration. Being a chef can open up so many opportunities, such as travelling and working in different establishments all over the world.