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Chefs Shaping African Cuisine’s Future


With innovative culinary techniques, a passion for local ingredients, and a deep appreciation for the rich culinary heritage of their respective regions, these chefs are pushing boundaries and elevating African cuisine onto the global stage. 

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1. Raphael King’ori

Raphael King’ori, a Kenyan-born chef, developed a passion for cooking from his childhood. He studied at Kenya Utalii College and gained valuable experience during an internship at the renowned Carnivore Restaurant. 

King’ori shares his culinary expertise through social media, providing step-by-step recipes and videos. His focus is on creating “home-made food” recipes using local ingredients, aiming to make cooking accessible and practical for Kenyan and African households.

2. Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu gained recognition after ranking among the top seven contestants at the San Pellegrino Young Chef finale in 2018. He is now a co-owner of Edge Restaurant, which celebrates the diverse flavours of Africa. 

The menu, inspired by Ndlovu’s heritage, showcases indigenous ingredients in a contemporary and respectful manner. The restaurant pays homage to Africa’s rich culinary history while incorporating innovative techniques. 

Ndlovu’s culinary creations highlight the cultural significance of African cuisine, offering a captivating dining experience that merges tradition with innovation.

3. Lillian Elidah

Lillian Elidah is a Zambian chef and graduate of the Cesar Ritz Culinary Arts Academy in Switzerland. She owns and operates the Twaala Restaurant in Lusaka, Zambia.

Twaala Restaurant offers a modern fusion dining experience with vibrant decor and aims to transcend ordinary culinary boundaries. Elidah emphasizes great food, exquisite decor, and gourmet culinary skills as the pillars of her restaurant. 

She envisions Twaala as a brand and experience that transcends traditional dining, providing an intimate and exclusive atmosphere for patrons.

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4. Mokgadi Itsweng

Mokgadi Itsweng, originally from Mamelodi in Pretoria, followed her passion for cooking after working in catering. She went to New York, where she gained experience at the renowned restaurant Madiba and studied at Peter Kump’s cooking school. 

Returning to Johannesburg, she opened her own restaurant, Lotsha Kitchen and Cocktails. Itsweng recently released a cookbook called “Veggielicious,” which reimagines South African recipes with a plant-based focus, reflecting her passion for healthy and flavorful cuisine. 

Her culinary journey highlights her dedication and creativity, inspiring others with her plant-forward approach and showcasing the vibrant flavors of South Africa.

5. Thelma Egbe

Thelma Egbe is an expert in African cuisine, known for her blog Thelmz Kitchen. Raised in Nigeria and now based in the UK, Thelma developed her culinary skills at a young age by helping her family in the kitchen. 

Her blog features innovative recipes like Stuffed Plantain Boats and Nigerian classics like Egusi Soup. Thelma aspires to host her own cooking show and continues to share her culinary expertise through her blog and Instagram page.

6. Lohi Busari

Lohi Busari is a businesswoman, food blogger, and the head chef of two restaurants in Toronto, Canada. She is passionate about cooking and focuses on healthy and nutritious meals, even in the context of carb-filled African cuisine. 

Lohi shares delicious recipes like Banga Rice and Chicken Suya while offering tips on simplifying and adding glamor to everyday life. Her culinary expertise and practical advice aim to inspire and elevate your cooking and dining experiences.

7. Malcolm Riley

Malcolm Riley, a self-taught chef from Zambia and of mixed heritage, developed a deep-rooted passion for cooking at a young age, inspired by his mother’s culinary expertise. His love for South African cuisine and exploration of diverse African culinary traditions fuel his creative drive in the kitchen.

Chef Malcolm’s cooking style can be best described as a fusion of Anglo and Afro-Indian influences. With his award-winning approach, he crafts condiments and sauces that showcase the richness of African flavours, featuring bold spices, chilies, and 100% natural ingredients. 

8. Ozoz

Ozoz, a Nigerian-based chef and food blogger, is passionate about using food to explore social, cultural, and economic practices worldwide. With a background in geology and a love for cooking that sparked at a young age, Ozoz created a blog as a tribute to her culinary journey. 

She embraces the “New Nigerian Kitchen” philosophy, celebrating the rich flavors and traditions of Nigerian cuisine. Known for her expertise in Jollof rice, Ozoz’s blog showcases the diverse stories and cultural significance behind Nigerian food. 

Through her work, she offers a unique perspective on the intersection of food and society, making her a valuable voice in the culinary world.

9. Chef Mo

Chef Mo, motivated by a desire for culinary variety, embarked on a self-taught journey to expand his cooking skills and experiment with flavours. Despite a few initial mistakes, he persevered and now offers a diverse range of mouthwatering dishes. 

Chef Mo’s Instagram and Twitter showcase his delicious Cajun Chicken, BBQ Lamb chops, and more, leaving viewers craving a taste. He has gained popularity in London, U.K., through his convenient delivery service.

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10. Fregene

Chef Fregz is a highly popular and acclaimed chef in West Africa known for his unique approach to cooking African dishes with a French touch. He was born in Ogun State and trained at Le Cordon Bleu. 

Initially starting at a grilling and finger food brand called DVARD, Chef Fregz gradually expanded his services to include small-group and bespoke private dinners, offering tailor-made menus to clients. 

His brand grew further, attracting collaborations with brands like Knorr, Kenwood, and Samsung. Chef Fregz now operates his own space and offers various product lines, including canapés, private dinners, catering, and consultation services. 

His culinary expertise, innovative concepts, and exceptional dining experiences have contributed to his widespread popularity and success.

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