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In celebration of Women’s Month the Imbokodo Women in Leadership Programme at UKZN hosted a live cooking demo with award winning chef and alumnus Ms Zandile Makhoba.
A programme designed to inspire women, Imbokodo provides a platform for women to engage on topical issues and to network.
Themed: For the Love of Women, the live cooking demo involved four UKZN master chefs, Mr Michael Davids, Manager: Student Funding; Dr Michael Cloete, Manager: Human Resources Development; Professor Pholoho Morojele, Dean of Research: College of Humanities; and Professor Ross Robinson, Dean and Head of the School of Chemistry and Physics.
Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu, Director: Human Resources Development and facilitator of the event said she was very excited to welcome everyone to the Imbokodo virtual cooking demo – the first of its kind.
She added that the programme aims to address the issues faced by women in society and the workplace. Ramabodu acknowledged the achievements of the women who came before who challenged stereotypes and norms and said more work remains to be done.
Commenting on the event she said: ‘This is an opportunity for all our UKZN male counterparts, spouses and significant others to challenge themselves and reflect on the role they play in addressing the issues that women continue to face.’
Welcoming the master chefs, Makhoba dove into the first menu prepared by Davids, which included a fish braai served with a corn and tomato salad, chicken noodle soup and cheese quesadillas. A nervous Davids said the menu was a ‘real food adventure’ for him, having learnt how to prepare many new things. Taking viewers through his menu, Davids shared the type of fish he used as well as the spices, stuffing and braai instructions.
Cloete introduced his menu of pork fillet served with a vegetable grill, chick pea curry and a Waldorf salad. He shared his love for cooking and explained that this experience was a chance for him to give back to the women in his life. Taking viewers through the instructions for preparing the pork fillet, Cloete shared some of the sauces he would pair with this meal as well as his plating suggestion.
The third menu of roasted chicken served with jus, a vegetable curry, beetroot and spinach salad and naan bread was prepared by Morojele to pay his respects to the women of the world. He remarked that he had discovered one of his hidden talents through this experience and shared his cooking instructions for the chicken. Morojele highlighted the role of women in his career, particularly Professor Relebohile Moletsane in catapulting his career as his supervisor for both his master’s and doctorate.
The final master chef, Robinson maintained a cool and calm demeanour as he shared what he called the easiest menu of the four, grilled steak served with sautéed mushrooms, sticky chicken wings, roast potato wedges and a Greek salad. Having prepared the menu with his daughter, he said he looked forward to serving the meal to his family. Robinson added that food brings people together and that, ‘this is a lovely occasion to celebrate the wonderful achievements of women at UKZN and the impact they have on everyday life.’
A question and answer session was facilitated by Ramabodu while the UKZN master chefs prepared their meals. Participants engaged with the simple recipe for naan bread that is useful when one has run out of bread.
Crossing back to the master chefs so that they could share their final products with the viewers, Makhoba shared some of her tips and tricks for the recipes. She also introduced the team that she worked with to prepare the meals and joked that good chefs are never thin.
Closing the event, John Langalibalele Dube Chair in Rural Education at UKZN, Moletsane summarised the key points of the webinar which included learning some culinary skills; the importance of sharing household chores; and how making food together with your partner, children or friends could trigger important conversations.
Referencing the theme she said that the webinar showed that cooking promotes the ‘love of family, community and even humanity.’
Words: Hlengiwe Khwela