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SA celeb chefs snap up awards at the world cookbook 'Oscars'

10 July 2019 - 10:00 By Staff reporter
Zola Nene started her TV career as the resident chef on SABC3's morning show 'Expresso'.
Zola Nene started her TV career as the resident chef on SABC3's morning show 'Expresso'.
Image: Malcolm Drummond/Sunday Times

Two local female celebrity chefs have triumphed at the 24th annual Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

Known as the "Oscars" of the cookbook world, this year's awards ceremony was recently held in Macao, China. Books from 216 countries competed for top honours.

Chef Zola Nene, star of Mzansi Magic's Celeb Feasts with Zola, first bagged one of these prestigious awards in 2017, for her debut book Simply Delicious.  

Now she's done it again.

Nene's second book, Simply Zola, was named the world's best English cookbook by a TV celebrity chef.

"Wow ... That’s two books both winning international awards ... Whew, no pressure for the third book, hey?!?" joked the proud chef on Instagram.

Celebrity chef Mogau Seshoene was equally delighted to have had a podium win at what she described as "the Olympics of cookbooks” on Instagram.

Her book, The Lazy Makoti's Guide to the Kitchen, took second place in the Best First Cookbook category.

"My heart overflows with joy and pride unimaginable!" gushed Seshoene on social media. "Thank you to everyone who had a hand in this great fortune ... We made a masterpiece that has now been declared one of the best in the world." 

Other local cookbooks that scooped accolades at the 2019 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards include:

  • Foodies of South Africa by Chantal Botha, Hayley Morison and Julie Brown — first place in the Blogger/Social Media Printed Book category.
  • Halfaampieskraal: The Way We Live by Jan-Georg Solms and Ulrich Knoblauch — third place (tied) in the Hotels category. 
  • Tastes of Durban by David Bird and Deshnie Govender — third place (tied) in the Local (World) category. 
  • The Madiba Appreciation Club by Brett Ladds — second place in the African Cuisine category, and honoured in the Heads of State category. 
  • Oranjezicht City Farm by Kurt Ackermann and Leonie Joubert — named one of the two best fundraising/charity cookbooks in Africa.