Matondolo grew up in Seshego township in Polokwane in Limpopo Province. She reminisces about cooking with her late mom from as young as 12 years old. “She showed me how to cook one of her favourites spinach recipes with butter, spinach and carrots.”
After matriculating from Capricorn High school in Polokwane, she studied hospitality management and completed a B-Tech in food and beverage management at the Vaal University of Technology in Gauteng. This go-getter chef is also completing her Master’s Degree in hospitality and tourism management.
Matondolo always loved spending time in the kitchen, especially with her late mom. “My mom was a good cook and she loved baking too. I always loved being in the kitchen with her, trying out new things and adding a twist to her favourite meals.”
She runs her own business, offering cooking classes and delivering home-cooked meals, and she works as a private chef, cooking for small to medium-sized events. She often employs two or three temporary cooks when she needs an extra hand to assist.
A flopped Christmas dessert turned into another blooming business for Matondolo. A missing ingredient in one of her favourite dishes produced her first homemade ice-cream. “The flop turned into something amazing. I now sell homemade ice cream and it has been doing so well that I recently launched Emonate Ice cream, which means ‘it’s delicious’.” Her ice-cream, which comes in ten different flavours, is becoming sought after in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Mpumalanga, Polokwane and East London.
Eight years ago Matondolo decided to stop eating meat. “I grew up eating a lot of meat. It was so difficult for me to not have meat every day at home. I just came to a stage where I got tired it, so now I don’t eat it anymore,” she says.
As a pescatarian (a person who does not eat meat, but does eat fish), this chef is always prepared. “I mostly prepare my own fish or I carry a tin of tuna fish in case fish is not included in the menu or what’s offered at a particular event.”
Matondolo is a bit embarrassed about her phobia for any fruit with a white skin, like peaches. “I love the fruit but I can’t eat it or use it in the kitchen without someone washing or peeling the skin off for me first.” She says. Her all-time favourites dishes are glazed grilled fish, sticky wings, stews and chicken in a mushroom sauce.
Driven by her passion for cooking, this chef is set on building her career and she believes she has a God-given gift.
“I love what I do with this gift. I always say to people that cooking is a deeper passion from within. Every time I am in my kitchen, I am excited, all smiles, thinking and trying to come up with new recipes. I love being creative with the simplest ingredients.”
Looking to the future, Matondolo hopes to run a successful food company and a hotel school. She wants to create more jobs. She also plans to expand her company brand and wants to grow her ice cream business to distribute even more locally and internationally.
She was also recently selected as a resident chef for CCFM Radio, a well-known radio station in Cape Town. “I will be the chef who will anchor for the Lekkaditeshow. It is such an exciting venture in my food career – a big opportunity for me – which requires commitment, creativity and, above all, passion.”
As a lover of stews, chef Matondolo cooked up a storm with her yummy classic pork stew recipe for the Food For Mzansi readers to enjoy…