Maxine Thompson is an Australian-born, London-based chef, and the force behind PolkaPants. Thompson will be in SA for the inaugural Food XX Symposium and Awards in Cape Town next month.
FOOD XX is described as a platform and movement that delivers empowering content for womxn by womxn in the food and drinks industry in South Africa. The key focus of FOOD XX is to supply a safe space where womxn can help other womxn to achieve their dreams, provide support and have much-needed conversations.
Thomposon studied fashion design and worked for Chanel before training as a chef at New York’s International Culinary Centre. After trousers losing their shape, losing buttons mid-service or having the fabric colour bleeding onto her chef whites after 14 hours in a hot, demanding kitchen—the private chef and published cookbook author set out to design something better. The name PolkaPants is inspired by a pair of the designer’s favourite polka dot trousers that she first made when studying fashion design and wore whilst working as a freelance chef.
Resonating with a global community of chefs, knife-maker stylists, architects, set designers, ceramicists, writers, blacksmiths and photographers, PolkaPants are designed for service and style. PolkaPants are worn by the chefs in some of the best restaurants in the world including The River Café and Petersham Nurseries in London, and King Restaurant in New York, as well as chef and owner of The Counter in Johannesburg, Meg Pascoe. PolkPants have grown to become a favourite of women working across the creative industries looking for great-fitting, stylish yet practical trousers.
Maxine Thompson. Image: Supplied