Kenneth Wakens has always had a passion for food! He always helped his mother in the kitchen at home. In Gr. 10, his Consumer Studies teacher, Miss B. Smith, inspired him to do more. The TV programmes such as Masterchef and Chopped also inspired him to learn more about food.
In Grade 12 Kenneth job shadowed at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West. He loved it, and soon after matric he started working in the in kitchen at Lord Charles. After about 6 months, Kenneth gave up. The stressful and busy environment was to much for young Kenneth.
While being at home Kenneth was depressed, regretting every day that he had so easily given up one his dream. He applied for a variety of jobs and ended up working as a Sales Assistant for Clicks, but his dream of becoming a chef still haunted him.
Kenneth’s brother told him about Masincedane and in July 2016 he enrolled for Hygiene and Cleaning course at Masincedane and was selected to take part in the Food Preparation course. Kenneth described the food Prep course as “fantastic”- although it was basic, he learned a lot and it was great fun! After completing the Food Preparation course, Kenneth worked as a casual for two catering companies in Stellenbosch.
When Masincedane contacted their former Food Preparation students to work as volunteers for The Gala event in June 2016, Kenneth could not be reached, but luck was on Kenneth's side and he heard via friends that Masincedane was looking for volunteers and turned up to volunteer.
He was one of the lucky 8 learners that was selected to help Chef Gustaaf from Lourensford to prepare the fantastic four-course meal for 250 guests. Chef Gustaaf was very pleased with Kennith's work. During the July School holidays (2016) Masincedane provided a Culinary workshop for School Learners – Kenneth volunteered to help with training. He thoroughly enjoyed the week and was a great help to the facilitator.
As a result of the Gala event, Erinvale hotel and Masincedane has an understanding to place our best learners (with matric) as trainees in their kitchen. If after a determined time, a trainee’s work and attitude is up to standard, he/she will be given the opportunity to study as a chef while working. Kenneth is our first student in this program and we are very excited to follow his career!
Kenneth is thankful for Mrs. Keyser (Food Prep facilitator) at Masincedane for believing in him and inspiring him to reach for his dream. Kenneth added that time spent at Masincedane motivated him, gave him a positive attitude and outlook on life. Kenneth concluded: “I can some up my short culinary adventure in one word- RESPECT – respect for ingredients, and most of all for the people you are cooking for.”