Executive Chef Sharmilla recently sent Nadine Keyser an email sharing her story on how attending the courses at Masincedane helped her achieving her dream of becoming a Executive Chef! Here is her email:
After I finished at Masandane, I moved back to the Eastern Cape to spend some quality time with my mom, while there I applied for work at a local small Hotel called Camelot. I was appointed as a Junior Chef, but was give a lot of other responsibilities as well. After about a year the owner passed away and the hotel closed. Soon after this I started working at a Coffee Shop called Nostalgia, again as a Junior Chef. While being employed at Nostalgia I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful person whom worked as a Manager at the Mantis Collection (they are situated in the Kruger Park), he saw my potential and employed me to work as a “CDP” at the Jock Safari Lodge. I was very good at my job, and then challenged the Managers to appoint me as Junior Sous Chef.
After 3 years working there, Management was very impressed with my performance, they appointed me as a Sous Chef at the Sanbona Private Game Reserve. Giving me the stepping stones I needed to further my career as a chef. I was then later promoted to Senior Sous Chef. After 3 years I needed a new challenge! I then decided to move to the Western Cape and started working at Café Dijon in Stellenbosch. I was employed as a Senior Sous Chef from about one year and 6 months… But I still wanted to learn more. I then applied for a position at the Lord Charles Hotel as a Junior Sous Chef in their Pastry Department. It was hard work, but I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, after a year my mom became very ill and I had to move back home to look after her. I really thought my dream of becoming a great chef is over.
God however had other plans for me. My mom recovered and I could regain my dream to becoming a chef. I got word that a friend’s son was working at the Raddison Blue Hotel in Port Elizabeth, and that same day I called him to ask if they had any positions available at the hotel. The Executive Chef phoned me back to tell me that he has a position available for me a Senior Sous Chef. I worked at the Raddison Blue hotel for about 2 years, when one of my previous employers tracked me down and presented me with a wonderful offer to come and work as the Head Chef at No. 5 Boutique Art Hotel in Port Elizabeth.
After 2 years I was transferred to Port Alfred where I worked as an Executive Chef at the Oceana Private Game Reserve. After about a year, he asked that I work as a Practical Instructor and Executive Chef at the Pond Hotel in Port Alfred. Currently I am still working at the Pond Hotel as an Executive Chef, I also work as Practical Instructor at the Stenden University. It has been a long and bumpy road, thank you Nadine and Masandane for your assistance to helping me achieve my dream.
I would just like to mention and this has been my highlight! I was invited to be judge on the Ultimate Braai Master which is hosted Justin Bonello.
Lots of love
Executive Chef Sharmilla