Zola Nene

Zola is a qualified chef, food stylist and award-winning cookbook author who is passionate about making food less intimidating by sharing simple dishes that taste delicious.

Q & A with Zola

  • I’d love people to know about my cookbooks, which are basically my life story told through food. In my first book, Simply Delicious, I chronicle my journey from childhood onwards sharing recipes and food memories taught by my gogo and my mom. My second book, Simply Zola, continues from my first where I share recipes from my current life experiences and what I have learnt
  • My greatest highlight to date is winning Gourmand Cookbook Awards for both my cookbooks, it means a lot to get recognition for something that I put so much time and effort into creating, its a great feeling to know that people love the books as much as I do.
  • I feel transformation in this industry will happen when more opportunities are afforded to those who don’t necessarily have the means to put themselves through learning institutions that specialize in culinary courses or food styling courses. I know how expensive it was for my culinary arts studies programme so it would be great to see more bursaries or finance available for culinary careers specifically.
  • It’s important that at every “table” there is diversity and inclusion, my hope is that in the future no one will ever have to fight for a place at the table, but rather that there will be room for everyone and that everyone will be welcome to sit at a table and be one of the many faces that look like you, rather than be the token face.
  • Mam’ Dorah Sithole is someone I have and will always look up to, she paved the way for food writers and stylists such as myself. Mam’ Dorah was writing about championing and writing about the African food narrative way before the world was ready to listen, I’m just glad she’s still around to see the impact of her work finally coming to fruition through me and other proud African chefs and foodies like myself.