It was during a talk at Silwood Kitchen in 1997, where a lady called Yvonne Short came from Johannesburg to chat to us about how fabulous it is to have a cheffing career in the safari industry.
I was immediately intrigued and knew that was definitely what I was going to do.
So, off I went to Ngala Game Reserve to do what was only supposed to be my final year at Silwood to gain my Grande Diploma and ended up staying nine years!
During these years, I was constantly mentored, encouraged, inspired and always exhilarated by Yvonne.
Yvonne had started at Londolozi in the late 80’s training up the Londolozi Chefs, flinging food far across the bushveld and creating magic with the likes of Elmon Sithole, Connie Mthabini, Eric Sithole and Flora Nkuna.
During these years at Londolozi, Julian and Jenna were born. They were brought up in the Londolozi Kitchen where they sat in the bakery, were put on chefs’ backs to make them “lala” and spent many hours under the watchful teaching eye of Lena Lamula and Betty Mazibuko. What a magical life they had!
When Jenna was three, the Short Family left Londolozi to return to Johannesburg where Yvonne still flung food far across the African Continent and continued to mentor and inspire the Londolozi Chefs for many years.
So, as time went on, it was only natural that one of the children would be captured by their Mum’s talent – and yes it was Jenna! At the beginning of this year, off she went to Silwood Kitchen!
There was no question in my mind nor Yvonne’s as to where Jenna should do her two week work experience – she returned to Londolozi!
The Londolozi Chefs that had looked after her as a baby were thrilled to have her back in their clutches! Flora was even more excited that Jenna’s passion was baking – before we knew it, she was whisked away into the bakery and has churned out some pretty amazing cakes and bakes.
Thank you Universe for this Full Circle!
Written by: Anna Ridgewell.
Photographed by: Caitlin Fay Smith.