Zola Nene on celebrating South Africa in Unchartered Season 2

The saying ‘If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life’ rings true for South African chef Zola Nene.

She is incredibly talented, warm and vivacious and this all translates into her unparalleled expertise as one of South Africa’s top chefs.

Ahead of her episode on Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted season 2 where the culinary legend traverses the globe in a relentless pursuit of culinary inspiration, starting in South Africa, Getaway had the fortune of chatting with Zola about her experience on the show, her tips for novice chefs and the complex beauty of South African food.

‘I just hope people enjoy it and take it for what it is. I don’t see myself as the champion for culture, of for blackness, or femininity. All I am doing is portraying authentically what my heritage is and that is different for everybody.’

In Zola’s episode of Uncharted, she shows Gordon the ropes of traditional Zulu cooking at home in her birth province, KwaZulu-Natal.

Zola described how the celebration of Zulu culture was one of the elements that she loved most about the episode.

‘Whenever people come to explore South Africa, they will look at Cape Malay culture, Cape Dutch culture, Xhosa culture but very rarely do people delve deeper into Zulu culture. Everyone knows who Shaka Zulu is and they think that they have all that they need to know,’ said Zola.

‘What was really cool was being in my birth province and being so proudly Zulu and showcasing just a little bit of how beautiful the province is.’

‘Another thing I really loved was that we got to see how KZN is an amalgamation of different cultures. Zulu culture is obviously very strong but also Indian culture.

‘A lot of people don’t know that Durban has the biggest population of Indian people outside of India, which is so cool. These two cultures have lived in harmony for so long and have actually integrated into each other’s flavour profile and that was a really cool thing to showcase.’

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Source: Getaway