Condè Nast House & Garden Gourmet Restaurant Awards 2018 are around the corner and will reveal hidden gems—celebrate restaurants with gorgeous interiors, the best tasting menus and all things gourmet. In celebration of professional chefs, meet Yolanda Nomoyo and Mathapelo Montsho of Why Cook, a bespoke catering service in Johannesburg. The ladies met at a mutual friend's birthday party a few years ago, and it was love at first bite. Yolanda was catering for individuals and Mathapelo was servicing corporate companies. After a long discussion about life and food—naturally, the ladies decided to team-up and launched Why Cook in 2014.
Why cook specialises in unlimited sized events, corporate meals, and private dinners. L'oreal South Africa and Airports Company South Africa are one of their major clients. Read on to find out more about these culinary sisters:
Was it hard to make the transition to being business partners?
Yes, it was as we were individuals working separately and coming from different career backgrounds. We had to learn each other, respect each other's thoughts and opinions, and always do what is best for the business.
What sets you apart from other chefs?
We always create fresh and innovative dishes for our clients. For us it's not just about cooking, it's a divine calling to serve. We never say we don’t know or we “can't”, we find people that can help us achieve what we need to. Why Cook goes beyond us. It’s a team made up of our network and staff.
Key lessons on running a sustainable culinary business?
Cash flow is very important and that is advice for any business. Getting the right staff is quite crucial as well.
Your favourite go-to ingredient?
The new Aromat without MSG.
A seasoning you have no respect for and one you think is underrated?
We definitely don’t like Tarragon, it’s just unpalatable and fortunately, most of our clients don’t like it either. Robertson’s veggie spice, is a winner.
Best cooking tips for a novice?
Follow the recipe but once you've gotten the hang of it, change it to suit your taste buds.
Are there any culinary trends that you are crazy about right now?
Colour w, colour, and more colour. Using different colour ingredients when making food gets you out of your comfort zone.
Favourite restaurants in SA?
Signature Restaurant, they make the most amazing steak; Friday’s—their quesadillas are out of this world and Epicure, we love their African flavour.
Image: Supplied and Instagram/WhyCook_SA