Taking the Snobbery out of Food: Chef Lesego Semenya

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.

The Westcliff, Media and the FIFA World Cup

He has subsequently gone on to work at The 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 township Kota, won and was named the Official pie of the visiting British football fans for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The prize included working in a Michelin Star rated restaurant in London owned by Richard Corrigan.

Celebrities’Private Chef and Food Educator

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 celebrities.

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. Recently having ended his 1 year stint as a monthly guest on The Great Escape show on Metro FM and appearing regularly on Azania Mosaka’s show on 702; Lesego can now be heard every week on Power FM chatting about food and the culinary world on Power Lunch with Aphelele Somi at Power FM. 

Lesego on TV and Author of “Dijo: MyFood, My Jounrey”

Lesego was recently 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 November 2018 Lesego’s first ever cookbook titled “Dijo: My Food, My Journey” was released and has gone on to become a bestseller. 

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