The Chef: Lucas Ntsele
Director of the hot breakfast service at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton and winner of the Sunday Times Stalwart of the Kitchen Award in 2010
I trained in many places in the old Johannesburg CBD - both hotels and restaurants. One of the first places I worked was in a hotel kitchen that was part of the old Carlton Centre complex.
My first mentor was chef Brian McCune at what was then called the Tollman Towers [the same building subsequently known as the Johannesburg Sun, the Downtown Holiday Inn and KwaDukuza Egoli Hotel]. He taught me how to cook ingredients like springbok and duck.
I think the most important skill to learn, when you work in the food industry, is respect. You must respect the people who are teaching you. And to learn something properly, you have to listen.