A sweet Sunday obsession in the kitchen turned out to be the stepping stone for Sebastian Newman’s skyrocketing culinary career. The 23-year-old chef, food stylist and content producer has already rubbed shoulders with celebrity chef Jenny Morris and he’s worked on several popular Mzansi television shows.
Newman first took over his mother’s kitchen when he was only 10 years old. Growing up in Elsies River, Cape Town, he remembers the highlight of every Sunday was preparing dessert for his family after church.
The culinary world was always his first choice. “When my 7th grade teacher asked what I wanted to be one day, I knew my future would be filled with food…”
“I’m constantly amazed by how the smell of spices can evoke memories, the way textures like crunchy, smooth, soft and juicy can start a party in your mouth and the taste of things like chocolate, chilli and citrus can take anyone on a journey. And if something tastes really good, it makes you feel pretty good too,” says this passionate foodie.
After matriculating from J.G Meiring High School in 2013, Newman pursued a food qualification. In 2015 he received a diploma in patisserie from Capsicum Culinary School. During his studies he met celebrity chef and food stylist Zola Nene. Although every chef has his or her own style, Newman says Nene taught him a thing or two about food styling.
Shortly after he qualified, Newman worked for a production company as an assistant, food stylist and content producer on television shows such as Expresso Morning Show, Afternoon Express, Top Billing and Weekend Edition.
“I have also been privileged enough to appear on Hectic Nine 9 and have worked for the likes of Jimmy Nevis, as well as Leigh Anne Williams, Zola Nene, Abigail Donnelly, Claire Winstanley, Khanyi Mbau and Jenny Morris.”
Although Newman admits it’s quite challenging, he now does freelance work for a number of digital platforms after he decided to leave his full-time job in 2017.
“I work as a freelance chef and food stylist, and also as a chef lecturer at Capsicum Culinary Studio at the moment. My work is demanding. You have to keep up with trends and be on point with what is out there. It is tiring and quite a hustle.”
While he is still carving his way forward, Newman shares his fabulous, fun and flavourful recipes with his followers on Facebook and Instagram. This sweet tooth chef also has a YouTube video series called Bakes with Bas. In each video he features either a friend or a family member and prepares a recipe.
“My video series sees me creating an array of dessert items themed around a certain topic with one of my friends or a family member in the industry. The idea is to share an experience with my followers to impart a skill or just to create something they thought might have been too difficult to do.”
He has had the opportunity to collaborate with Dunkin Donuts South Africa for the birthday of TV and radio presenter Leigh Anne Williams. Newman also developed an ice cream recipe for Magnum South Africa on Afternoon Express.
With all that he has achieved, Newman is convinced that this is only the beginning.