Celebrated chef and businesswoman, Liziwe Matloha, has been appointed as national First Choice brand ambassador, one of South Africa’s leading milk and dairy brands. Owner of the home-based restaurant Dinner at Matloha’s in Boksburg, she turned her passion for cooking into a full-time career, offering classes and private chef services. She will also soon be the owner of her very own published cookbook!
Born, bred and raised in Boskop, a rural part of Potchefstroom, cooking has always been part of her life. Says Matloha: “I started cooking at a very young age, around 13. I’m from a big family. On Sundays, after church, we would usually gather at home for this big Sunday lunch. This was most exciting for me. My dad provided for us, as hard it was. He worked as a farmer, and we all depended on him. With the little income he received, he made sure to send each one of us to school. It was up to us to work hard to achieve our goals and dreams, but he gave us that opportunity.”
Matloha always enjoyed food and cooking, but the thought that she could make a career out of it never crossed her mind. Before joining the culinary world full-time, she worked in the marketing and advertising industry. She catered as a side hustle for about five years before deciding to leave her day job and follow her dream. “I graduated from Capsicum Culinary Studios, with a Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking and then continued my training at hotels, restaurants and catering companies,” Matloha adds.
Establish the Passion
Dinner at Matloha’s, Liziwe’s home-based restaurant, opened in 2014. She explains: “I’d go to college during the week and do catering on weekends. On some days during the week, I’d bake after class and sell cookies, which were and still are very popular. Once I graduated from Capsicum, I focused intensively on my brand. The goal was to offer cooking classes, host pop up restaurants and I did just that. I do share my recipes and give cooking tips online, but the most exciting part about cooking and food is the hands-on experience that people love. Reading a recipe is not the same as being guided through the process and getting some nifty tips and tricks at the same time. I’m passionate about cooking and food. I love the idea that families will experience meals prepared by someone who has been influenced by my way of cooking, which is easy to prepare, great-tasting and budget-friendly.”
Matloha loves sharing her knowledge and skills. “It gives me amazing satisfaction. The response and feedback I receive from my students make me feel whole and blessed. It’s truly a great feeling. The cooking classes are hands-on, laid back, easy and fun. Imagine knowing various ways of cooking a dish that’s both inspiring and exciting!”
Book your dinner at Dinner at Matloha’s
The perfect mini restaurant for a bespoke experience for small intimate private celebrations. Hosting groups of between 10-30 guests at a time.
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Leading a First Choice life
She continues that becoming a First Choice Ambassador has been a life-changing experience. “I’m working with a team of professionals that’s always eager to guide me. They allow me to be who I am, as a chef and a creative, and my opinion matters. It’s wonderful that I can come up with ideas and First Choice will support me, guide me through the process and give me the platform to share it with my fellow South Africans.”
As an ambassador, Matloha develops recipes, lives and represents the brand: “I absolutely love First Choice products and always share this with everyone. I want to create even more awareness of the brand and provide a face-to-face experience for consumers. I sample the products and give demos on how to use it. Their products offer excellent quality and value for money, plus their range is very impressive. My family loves the variety on offer.”
We had to ask Liz which of the First Choice flavoured Milki products is her favourite? (The Milki products are available in the following flavours: Chocolate | Strawberry | Cookies & Cream | Vanilla | Banana | Toffee)
“I love Milki best served with my cereal. My go-to flavours are Cookies & Cream as well as Toffee.”
Making it Happen
When we asked Liz who had the biggest impact on her cooking career, she explained that if there’s anyone to give credit to it is herself. She decided to pursue her career no matter her circumstances and she worked hard with determination and focus on the goal ahead. “I unfortunately never had it easy and apart from my kids and husband, was alone in reaching my goals. It was hard work, tears and sweat that got me to where I am now.”
Matloha believes that she has achieved “many of the things that I always thought were not meant for a farm girl like me. I believe that my work speaks volumes of what I’m capable of and I’m enormously grateful for every achievement”.
As with many other small businesses, the lockdown has been tough. “I buy ingredients for the classes in bulk, and suffered some losses as I had to donate most of those ingredients to charitable homes as we had no guarantee on when we would be able to present live events again. I will now have to raise funds to stock-up again”.
“The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown did influence my business, but my longtime goals still stand. My first cookbook will be released this year, it is very exciting and will be the greatest achievement of my career. My next goal is to launch my own spice range. I’m excited about the future.”
Being a wife and mother of three makes working uncertain hours a real struggle. “I schedule work a few days during the week for me to be home for dinner with my family. Weekends I spend with my family, and I don’t compromise on that. Work will always be there on Monday, but the time that is lost with my family can never be recovered. Luckily my family is very supportive and they are always there for me,” she concludes.
Liz’s ultimate comfort food is the traditional Sour Porridge called Ting, a Setswana dish. She grew up on this porridge and its one of the dishes she will continue to enjoy for the rest of her life. “It lifts up my mood even when I had no appetite, I can still enjoy it,” she added.
Coming close in at second is Fried Chips with salt and lots of vinegar!
It is easier than ever to get your First Choice products delivered to your door through their online shop.
Follow Liziwe Matloha on Facebook.
WIN a copy of Liziwe’s cookbook: Dinner at Matloha’s
Valued at R300
Simply enter here by 6 December 2021 to stand a chance to win.
Terms and Conditions Apply
Entries open on 8 November 2021 and close at the end of the day on 6 December 2021. The winner will be announced on HOMEMAKERS’ social media platforms. If winners do not acknowledge the winning email with a reply within 2 weeks, the winner will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be chosen. The competition is open to South African citizens over the age of 18. Employees of HOMEMAKERS are not allowed to enter. HOMEMAKERS’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Only one entry per person is allowed. The prize will be delivered to the winner within South Africa by the end of December 2021.
Dinner at Matloha’s is available to purchase from these outlets: Takealot, Exclusive Books, Bargain Books, Reader’s Warehouse, Graffiti Books, Loot.co.za and Amazon.