Noel Mokgohloa is an identical twin, a qualified lawyer and chef who loves cooking and travelling.
How did you get into cheffing and catering?
Back in 2007 when I was doing matric there was a teachers’ strike and it lasted for almost a month if not more. Instead of studying, my sister and I would watch TV the whole day – this is where we discovered the Great British Menu on BBC Lifestyle. We watched that show so much and I decided from there that I wanted to learn how to cook. I put the dream on hold until 2016, then I started doing research and looked around for a school. In 2018 I enrolled into culinary school.
Early Feb 2019 my friend Pearl convinced me to make a finger lunch for her friend’s wedding and, as they say, the rest is history. Now I get to work with great brands such as Iwisa No.1.
What do you love the most about what you do?
Meeting new clients and the friendships that comes with every catering gig; the fulfillment of seeing people enjoy my food and the rush that comes with every gig (it’s different all the time).
Take me through your creative process. How do you come up with a menu?
I mostly consider what the client wants, advice on what works and what doesn’t, the type of event, season, age group and the time at which the food is going to be served. There is no point serving caviar to people who don’t know what it is; you can’t serve a cold dessert in winter vs serving a hot pudding in summer – as tempting as it may be to serve fancy food, there is no point serving people food they don’t know and cannot eat. Young people are likely to enjoy finger lunch, elderly people are likely to enjoy starch, protein and veggies – all this factors are taken into consideration when designing a menu.
Name 3 women you admire and why.
Zola Nene – she also had an impact on me going to culinary school. She makes cooking look so effortless and her sense of humor is out of this world.
Phetheni Nkuna – her work ethic has always inspired me from back in varsity, you might need to Google her.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane – her resilience is unmatched.
Any advice to other women?
Believe in your potential – you have all it takes to be the best version of yourself, in striving to be the best and also strive to make life tolerable for other women. Now more than ever we need to be each other’s keepers.