Why Cook: A Story of Two Chefs
Two powerful lady chefs with a powerful sense of business successfully started Why Cook, which specializes in corporate and private catering. Let’s find out a little bit more about them. Professional chefs Mathapelo Montsho and Yolanda Nomoyi started their business in 2014. When we asked them what inspired the Why Cook business, it was obvious that these two ladies shared the same dream. “We were two individuals that met and decided that corporate catering was missing tasty wholesome food,” said Yolanda, and this is exactly what they provide.
They are known for their excellent cultural flavours of South Africa and can comfortably cater for unlimited sized events, corporate meals, and private dinners. Some of their biggest clients include L’Oréal South Africa and Airports Company South Africa. Heck, they have even catered for the president!
The Why Cook studio, another excellent service they provide, is an amazing space created not just for in-house interactive classes but also for the “foodies” that want to host classes to share their culinary skills with the public. This is a fully equipped modern space that is used for all culinary creative energy.
“We realised that people enjoyed our cooking and wanted to come to learn how to make these wonderful meals,” said Mathapelo. The studio was built and meant to be a space for other chefs and food brands to utilise and get consumers to touch, see and eat their products.
The Diva and the Fixer
Client satisfaction is by far the most enjoyable part of their job and business. No wonder these two ladies are cooking in the kitchen, literally and figuratively! Yolanda is known as the ‘Food Diva’, because not only is she the one looking into the latest trends but also the one who makes sure that the food is up to standard.
Mathapelo, on the other hand, is known as the ‘Food Fixer’ who is always ready to rescue when a particular Food Diva loses her way, Yolanda explained laughing!
We asked them a few questions:
What is your absolute favourite dish to make for family and friends?
Mathapelo – Creamy chicken pasta
What is your favourite food to eat?
Mathapelo – Granny’s food
Yolanda – My own
What atmosphere do you have in the kitchen while cooking?
We play music in most cases but prefer silence when the challenge requires it.
If you have an off day in the kitchen, how do you get your mojo back?
Watching cooking shows and reading food magazines.
You’ve catered for some big events, what has been your biggest highlight?
Cooking for the president.
- Sushi or stew? – Mathapelo – Sushi and Yolanda – Stew
- Gas or an electric oven? – Electric oven but a gas stove
- Buy pasta or make pasta? – I wish we had time to make our own pasta lol
- Monochrome or funky coloured kitchen? – Mathapelo – monochrome and Yolanda – funky colour
- Savoury or sweet? – Both savoury
We asked Yolanda and Mathapelo to share their favourite recipes for Passover lunch and dinner.
Enjoy this healthy, delicious salad recipe:
1 cup sorghum
½ cup parsley
½ cup mint
½ cup dried apricots chopped
1 juice of a lemon
Handful cherry tomatoes
6 sliced gherkins
½ cup almonds toasted
1 avocado cubed (optional)
6 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp reduced flavoured balsamic
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt
2 garlic cloves crushed
- Soak sorghum in filtered water overnight to remove any nutrient inhibitors. The next day, drain and rinse, then add to the pot with 2 to 1/2 cups of filtered water, as well as the cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 35 minutes or until soft. Leave to cool slightly.
- Finely chop the herbs and preserved lemon, roughly chop the apricots and almonds. Cube the avocados when you’re ready to serve.
- For your dressing, add everything in a jug. Mix until all is combined. Mix all ingredients in a big bowl, gently lifting and folding to cover everything