If you’re South African, you will understand if we just keep it local for a second and just say it out loud, just this once; Zola Nene did the things that made the ‘pots’ to be found. Finish and klaar.
In Condé Nast House & Garden language, it (loosely) means it’s harvest time for award-winning chef and food stylist Zola Nene. Many recognise the food stylist as the resident chef on SABC 3’s morning breakfast show, Expresso. Zola is the new addition on M-Net’s premier hit show, The Wedding Bashers. She joins wedding planner Zavion Kotze, former Miss South Africa Bernelee Daniell (replacing Cindy Nell-Roberts) and television personality, Denise Zimba. Season two kicks off with The Wedding Bashers Specials…With Love for four consecutive weeks from Sunday, 29 April at 18:00.
Reason for this season
Getting a call to be a part of The Wedding Bashers was a complete surprise to Zola. She has always wanted her own television show and it looks like she’s in the right lane to realising that dream. “I love weddings, I love attending weddings and I thoroughly enjoyed the first season of the show. I was not intimidated by the fact that famous chef – Siba Mtongana (who I absolutely love and respect) was my predecessor. I honestly believe that the things meant for you, are for you.” She believes they picked her for a reason. “I never compare myself to anybody else, because the truth is there is only one of me. They chose me for my personality, for my expertise and as long as I’m authentic with what I bring, nobody can compare me to anybody else.”
Started from the bottom now she’s here
Chef Zola was born in KwaZulu-Natal, grew up in George, Western Cape and has been living in Cape Town for the last ten years. She is a qualified chef and food stylist – she studied Culinary Arts, specialising in Food Media at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch. The multi-talented chef has published a cookbook, Simply Delicious, and will be releasing another book later this year. The author has also won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award for best TV Celebrity Chef host for Expresso.
This super passionate foodie loves to share knowledge about food and highlights that her entire purpose to travel is to taste and eat the food. “I’ve had great travel experiences but the one trip that changed her perception is a recent trip she took to China where her book had been nominated for an award. “I learned that what we perceived as Chinese culture here, isn’t what it is in reality.”
Proudly South African
So what is the one the quintessential dish that every single South African can relate to? “Pap! Every single culture in SA can relate to it. If you’re Afrikaans, you have a version of pap, if you’re Pedi you have your own version of pap, Zulu, Ndebele, Tswana or Tsonga. It’s a versatile Southern Africa staple.”
Zola’s quick and easy pasta recipe
Zola’s go-to recipe for those busy days when you’re too tired to be fancy is a simple but tasty pasta dish.
Must have ingredients in your pantry and fridge
“Always have a tin of canned tomatoes in your panty and a packet of any kind of pasta. “I always have cream and cheese in the fridge, (because, flavour). With these ingredients you can create a masterpiece,” she advises.
Heat some olive oil, add some chilli flakes and fry gently. Add a tin of tomatoes (quick tip: add some sugar because it can be very acidic), then add some salt and pepper. Boil the pasta, add some cream or cheese and voila – dinner is ready.
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Images: Supplied, Unsplash