Meet the TOP 12

The official TOP 12 finalists were selected – have a look at the entrants below. You can get in on the voting fun and win mega cash prizes.  Stand a chance of winning a R1500 cash prize just for voting and the Reader Favourite chef will win R5000.

Our celebrity judges, Mogau, Zola, Mathawe, Ukhonaye and SA Pork representative Marieta will do the final judging at the ultimate cook-off in Randburg on Saturday 18 May – so stay tuned!

Get to know the TOP 12 DRUM Food Ambassador finalists

Qiqa Sibonise Jabane, Johannesburg

I would say food means love to me. When I was 7 years old my grandmother taught me how to cook and stood by me for every step. She passed on years ago so I used cooking to heal me. It’s a spiritual experience for me.

Pinkie Matshabane, Lyndhurst

Food to me is an expression of togetherness, happiness and love. It is therapeutic and is my best way to de-stress. I like to offer guests good food that’s well presented, healthy and hearty. It’s something I inherited from my mother.

Nolizwe Radebe, Johannesburg

I love the thrill and excitement of trying out new recipes, new flavours, and having them come out just right makes me feel extremely accomplished.I have a bond far beyond just dishing out a meal with cooking.

Nada Hermanus, Eastern Cape

The fondest memories usually involve good food and I love to carry on that tradition through all the food I prepare. I enjoy experimenting with tried and- trusted recipes, as well as putting a unique spin on them.

Mpilonhle Ndlela, Bloemfontein

Cooking has always brought me a deep sense of peace and happiness. It reminds me of home, family and unconditional love. I love how food brings people together. Food is the one language that everyone can understand.

Luyanda Mafanya, Johannesburg

My food philosophy is that simplicity and love are key. Simple food made with love is a beautiful experience. This foodie has been making waves for herself and she’s ready to test her skills, and to achieve her dreams through her love for cooking.

Liziwe Matloha, Boksburg

Food for me is not only a source of nourishment, it’s a personal connection. Food is all about family and coming together. It is about me sharing a little bit of myself to make others happy. Cooking gives me peace but yet it’s so exciting. I love it.

Ayanda Hlungwani, Johannesburg

I’ve always loved what food stands for: togetherness, laughter, love and memories on a plate. Cooking is my happy place. The smiles I receive from people after feeding them is what brings me the most joy and satisfaction.

Xolani Vusumuzi Magagula, Randburg

Food means love to me. It always brings people together with smiles on their faces. Cooking makes me feel so good. It always puts me in a good mood. The thought of making someone smile because of a certain dish I prepared makes me feel so good.

Violet Seoketsa, Pretoria

As cliché as this may sound, I live and breathe food. Food makes me happy. It challenges me every day and I even studied to be a chef. As a commis chef (junior), I feel like there’s more out there to learn and experiment with, making magic for the taste buds.

Siyasanga Ncanisa, Eastern Cape

I truly believe preparing food is the greatest pleasure in life. I live in a small town in the Eastern Cape and for me this is a dream come true. My dining table offers recipes full of sensational flavours, colour and texture. I especially love cooking with pork.

Sibonguxolo Tokwe, East London

If anything it is more than passion, more than love, it has to be LIFE. Making food, to me, is life. Food is everything to me: it’s my culture and a true definition of me. It is my rhythm and my happy moment. God’s gift and creation.

Love trying new dishes? Get more mouthwatering recipes and inspiration.