Cooking up a Global Storm

Local Chef wins International Award for African Inspired Cookbook

 The start of 2018 proved to be a memorable one for local Chef and first-time Author, Nompumelelo Mqwebu. In early January 2018 Mqwebu received confirmation from The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards that her cookbook launched late last year in South Africa, titled Through the Eyes of an African Chef, won the national award for the South African region in the categories of First Book AND Self Published. Having won in two categories for the region, Mqwebu’s African inspired cookbook will automatically compete in these same categories for the Best in the World awards where overall winners will be announced in May 2018.

“It is such an honour for my first ever cookbook to have been so well received and recognised by such a prestigious competition and organisation. These awards have been a real highlight for me on this incredible journey of which there have already been so many highs. Probably the most important thing about being recognised by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards is that this award will hopefully shine a spotlight on South Africa and the amazing local products we have for local and international consumption, which are underutilised and in some instances not even known. I cannot thank enough all the individuals and companies who have supported me with this project; in particular Vanessa Wilson and her team at QuickFox Publishing who helped me get this book self-published,” Mqwebu enthused.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau and each year they honour the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food television. Books from 205 countries participate in these prestigious awards which also makes it the only international competition of the sector. Entry is free and open to all languages.

The overall Best in the World awards are announced and presented on 26 May 2018 at the annual Gourmand Awards Ceremony that takes place in a very special location for gastronomy. The Ceremony is always an opportunity to meet every important person in the world of food and books: hundreds of publishers, authors, chefs and journalists take part in these events. The Gourmand Awards have been compared to the “Oscars” for lm.

Having been featured in The Great South African Cookbook, food writer and former head chef at Zimbali Lodge, Nompumelelo Mqwebu is undoubtedly taking South African cuisine to new heights in her debut cook book Through The Eyes Of An African Chef. Her cook book includes mouth-watering South African indigenous recipes from Amadumbe Salad served with homemade pesto, Im’fino served with uPhuthu, preparing Umleqwa, Samp Risotto, Chamolia (African Kale) in peanut sauce, Is’gwampa, to desserts in true African tradition.

Chef Mqwebu will be attending this year’s Franschhoek and Kingsmead Book Fairs in May and her award-winning book is available at all good book stores and online at


ISBN: 978-0-620-77147-4

Author: Nompumelelo Mqwebu

Published: 2017

No of pages: 160

Format: Hardcover • Portrait • 255 mm x 195 mm

Category: Cooking / African cooking

Price: R490 incl. VAT

 Notes to Editor

 About the author

Founder of the Mzansi International Culinary Festival and owner of Africa Meets Europe Cuisine, Nompumelelo Mqwebu is an enterprising chef who has travelled the world to hone her skills. Yet her roots remain firmly planted in her homeland of Africa. Growing up in a family of pioneering and talented cooks and business people, her love of African cooking was implanted in her soul at an early age and she has spent her life sharing this passion with others. Her recipes reflect her love for organic ingredients and simple, tasty African food.

 Book summary

Through the Eyes of an African Chef retraces chef Nompumelelo’s journey of rekindling her love for African cooking, returning to the soil and the seasons to provide the freshest of ingredients and traditional farming and cooking methods. Her recipes incorporate time-honoured techniques, passed down through the ages. The skills and equipment used then are just as relevant in today’s kitchens and nothing can surpass the simple joy of creating and sharing a meal prepared using the freshest, natural components. In this book, you will rediscover old favourites and startle upon fresh new ways of practising, preserving and upholding Africa’s finest culinary traditions.



Nompumelelo’s book is a celebration of South African food – a glimpse into the tradition of her ancestors and an introduction to ingredients that many of us are unfamiliar with but ought to know much more about.

Reading Through the Eyes of an African Chef made me want to jump on a plane. South Africa, here I come …..”



“Nompumelelo’s recipes pay passionate homage not only to her heritage and origins, as articulated in the introduction; they also paint a diverse, colourful picture of who South Africa is.”