In memory of Chef Lesego Semenya: Les has been a valued member of our team for years and will be remembered for his humility and character. Rest in peace, LesDaChef!
Lesego Semenya was born and raised in Soweto. Whilst still working as a process engineer for The IQ Business Group he decided to pursue his
personal passion and goals. He began writing articles for a youth magazine called UnCut, the flagship magazine for an organisation called LoveLife.
He left the corporate world in 2008 after 6 years to pursue his business goals. Lesego then went on to travel South Africa for a year before enrolling
at South Africa’s best chef school, Prue Leith Chef’s Academy in Centurion, to study towards becoming a chef. He qualified with a Grande Diploma in
Food and Wine and 5 other international level diplomas in wine and patisserie.
He has subsequently gone on to work at The Four Seasons Westcliff under renowned chef Nicky Gibbs as well as taken part in various media platforms
including being profiled in City Press (for which he writes regular articles), Pretoria News, GQ magazine, House & Leisure magazine, Prudential
magazine, The Financial Times, The Star, Sowetan, The Cape Argus, IOL online, Daily Sun, Sunday World, SABC, Lesedi FM, 5FM, Kaya FM, Metro FM,
SAfm, Radio 2000, SABC Sport, BBC News, UJ FM, Voice of Wits and Talk Radio 702. In 2010 he took part in a World Cup pie designing competition
run by the British High Commission where his pie, based on a Soweto Kota, won and was named the Official pie of the visiting British football fans for
the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The prize included temporarily working in a Michelin Star rated restaurant in London owned by Richard Corrigan.
Lesego has gone on to work as a personal chef for a renowned family in Irene, catered to Howard Buffett (Warren Buffett’s son) annually, catered to
The British High Commission as well as Liverpool FC. He has also catered to numerous South African celebrities as well as renowned international
Until May 2014 Lesego worked at Richard Branson’s private game reserve in the Sabi Sands before returning to his native city to begin focusing on
building his business. He writes and talks about food regularly and tweets passionately about food as part of his mission to educate as many South
Africans as possible about food and the culinary industry. In 2016 Lesego ended his 1 year stint as a monthly guest chef on The Great Escape show
on Metro FM (South Africa’s biggest urban radio station) and began appearing regularly on Azania Mosaka’s show on 702 (South Africa’s largest
commercial talk radio station); thereafter he could be heard every week for one year on Power FM chatting about food and the culinary world on
Power Lunch with Aphelele Somi.
Lesego was also the official ambassador of the DStv Foodies campaign (2015), the face and co-collaborator for Singleton’s “Made with Taste” campaign
(2016), a Top Chef South Africa judge (2016), an influencer for numerous whisky and food brands, a collaborator with UberEATS (2016/2017), the
chef creator, food ambassador and influencer for SABMiller’s new beer Carver’s Weiss and Power FM’s resident chef. In 2018 he launched his first
cook book Dijo:My Food, My Journey and it became a bestseller in South Africa just a few weeks. In 2020 Lesego was the co-host and judge on M-Net’s
new highly rated cooking show called Celebrity Mystery Box. Lesego is currently in the process of writing his next cook book, which is due for release
by the 4th quarter of 2021.
– Top Chef South Africa judge
– 2015 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans
– 2015 House & Leisure Rising Star
– 2010 FIFA World Cup Official Pie of British visiting fans
– Glenfiddich Mavericks 2015 top 3
– Singleton Whisky CoLab #MadeOfTaste co-collaborator and ambassador
– Author of bestselling cookbook Dijo: My Food, My Journey
– Host and co-judge on Celebrity Mystery Box