sonia cabano

TV chef and former model Sonia Cabano.

Culinary icon and friend of Winnie, Sonia Cabano, 57, found dead in home

No cause of death has been confirmed since TV chef Sonia Cabano’s body was found in her Cape Town home on Monday 31 May.

sonia cabano

TV chef and former model Sonia Cabano.

Former model and South African TV chef Sonia Cabano has passed away unexpectedly at her home this past Monday. Her brother Meyer de Waal confirmed her death to several media outlets.

Foodie of note

The 57-year-old Cabano, whose career in modelling, cooking and television span over three decades, was also an internationally renowned specialist food writer and food stylist for Master Chef South Africa.

She also presented the Afrikaans food and travel lifestyle TV series Pampoen tot Perlemoen which aired on kykNET and on SABC2.

Cabano leaves behind two children with her ex-husband, Dr Deon Cabano: Guillaume, 21, and Sabah,19.

Sonia Cabano: From model to chef

As a model in the 1980s, Cabano appeared on magazine covers, advertising campaigns, and photo sessions locally and internationally and organised events for international stars like Tina Turner and Margaret Thatcher because of her modelling work in the UK.

She returned to Cape Town with the dream of saving money to go and study at a chef school in France, but her father refused, and she instead returned to London for another 12 years where she worked in restaurants and later as a chef.

Cabano authored four cookbooks: Luscious VegetarianRelish and Easy, Simple and Delicious and Kombuis.

Friendship with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Cabano’s father was Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s lawyer in Brandfort. She became friends with Winnie at the age of 14, and she said that Winnie taught her about “endurance and commitment”.