Chef Erika Bio

As a youngster my father suggested many times that I become a chef one day as I obviously had a passion for food.

Well, I decided that that was exactly what I would not do….. Why would I even consider making my passion my job?!

After school I headed abroad to London to try and find out what I would really like to do. My first position was for a very big and well known catering company, where I started as on of the waiting staff and was soon promoted to supervise these large, international events.

I was always drawn to the buzz of the kitchen, watching these experienced chefs create magic and because of this, I would often be called to assist in the kitchen or on the pass.

I had found my love, the adrenaline filled hospitality industry.

On heading back to South Africa, I was planning on studying Events Management, but could not find a suitable course. Alternatively I decided to study Culinary Arts and also Hotel Management at IHESA in Cape Town in order to find a position with an event company.

When the time came for me to do my internship, I was interviewed at a well know Waterfront Hotel where I would work for 3 months in all the departments to gain experience. I just couldn’t bring myself to get excited about reservations or housekeeping and walked over to the first restaurant I could find in the Waterfront and asked for a position as a waiter. I was then sent to the kitchen to do menu training, and as I walked in, the Head chef gave me an apron and welcomed me as the newest chef in his brigade of 15….! The rest as they say, is history.

16 years later, I can truly say that that serendipitous moment was meant to be and I have not looked back for one moment.

I have had the privilege to work under extremely talented and experienced chefs who have been so willing to share their knowledge and who instilled in me a hunger to learn. This has shaped my culinary career and after honing my skills for close to 2 decades it is know my privilege to be able to prepare our students for this rewarding career that they have chosen.

Lecturing at SAACA is an enormous honour for me and a responsibility I do not take lightly. I am excited to be a part of your culinary journey.

2002 – 2003: Hospitality Supervisor London, Uk

2003 – 2004: Baia Restaurant, Cape Town Waterfront, South Africa – Commi Chef

2004 – 2005: Leinster Hall Restaurant, Cape Town, South Africa – Chef de Partie, later promoted to

sous chef and then acting head chef

2005-2006: Meerendal Wine Estate, Cape Town – Junior Sous chef promoted to sous chef

2006 – 2008: Gorah Elephant Camp, Hunter Hotels, Relais&Chȃteaux, South Africa – Junior sous

Chef to Sous Chef

2008 – 2010: Mediterranean Ocean – Private chef on superyachts

2011 – 2012: Lupita Private Island, Firelight Expeditions, Lake Tanganika, Tanzania – Executive Chef

2012 – 2017: No.8 Guesthouse and ATE Eatery, Murraysburg, South Africa – Owner and Chef

2013 – 2017: Karoo Cuisine Cooking Classes, Badsfontein Farm, Murraysburg – Partner and Chef

2018 – Current: Private Chef, Port Elizabeth

2019 – Current:  SAACA – Culinary Arts Lecturer