zola Nene starfish

South African chef Zola Nene is cooking for a cause during the Starfish Foundation’s Dinner for Hope campaign which started on 1 December 2020.

Chef Zola Nene steps up to the plate for Starfish Dinner of Hope campaign

Cook along with the bubbly celebrity chef by hosting your own virtual Dinner of Hope party in aid of the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.

zola Nene starfish

South African chef Zola Nene is cooking for a cause during the Starfish Foundation’s Dinner for Hope campaign which started on 1 December 2020.

The Starfish Greathearts Foundation’s annual Dinner of Hope in aid of vulnerable children in South Africa has gone virtual — and global — in 2020.

And joining the campaign with her culinary wizardry, South African celebrity chef, TV personality and author Zola Nene has been cooking up a storm online since 1 December for the foundation.

Hailing from KwaZulu-Natal, Zola studied law, before working as a chef in the UK for a couple of years and then returned to South Africa to follow her passion. In 2019, she scooped the Best in the World award in the TV category at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for her second cookbook, Simply Zola

Zola Nene’s ‘party pack’ to Dinner for Hope hosts

Instead of street parties, such as the famous Melrose Long Long Long Dinner of 2011, this year Zola will bring South African sunshine to dinner hosts around the world with a “party pack” which includes a playlist curated by DJ A.Nu.Revolution, a list of ingredients and, of course, the cooking demo. 

Gordon Ramsay goes ‘Uncharted’ with Zola Nene

This summer she was featured on the second series of Gordon Ramsay’s National Geographic TV series ‘Uncharted’, programmes that explore the heritage and cuisines of seven regions from SA to the Guyana rainforest.

Ramsay spent a week getting up to speed with Zulu culture and cookery, taught by Zola. The two chefs worked on a river bank creating a feast of meat and fish for the local Zulu chief, only briefly interrupted by the roars of a surfacing hippo.

On the menu were braaied fish, tomato and onion salsa or ushatini, traditional ujege bread, chakalaka and pap and steak.

“Fire on the fire is one of the chief’s favourites and we had to keep it simple,” said Zola.

zola nene gordon Ramsey
Chef Zola Nene puts Gordon Ramsey through his paces in the British chef’s National Geographic TV series ‘Uncharted’, Image via Twitter @starfishcharity

Starfish ‘dinner invitation’ to South Africans in UK

This year the need for food and medication is greater than ever and the Starfish Foundation is reaching out to South Africans in the United Kingdom (UK) to take up Zola Nene’s offer to celebrate the festive season and support Starfish at the same time.

With Zola’s “party pack” and cooking demo support, readers in the UK can join in the fun until 1 January 2021 while funding the desperately needed support brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Cook along — or order in at a discount

Please click here to cook along at your leisure and don’t forget to share photos of your creations online! For more information, send an e-mail to info@starfish.org.za; ukinfo@starfishcharity.org for UK readers and usainfo@starfishcharity.org for readers in the United States.

Want to watch but not cook? South African-run, London-based business Mustard Foods is offering 20% off for deliveries in the London area using the code STARFISH

More about the Starfish Greathearts Foundation

Starfish was founded in 2001 by young South Africans in London who were struck by the growing number of South African children orphaned by HIV/Aids, and who wanted to give something back. Working in partnership with local communities in some of the poorest regions of South Africa, Starfish now care for more than 13,000 children each year.

Starfish Wellness Wagons (mobile health clinics) are now being used to educate local people about Covid-19 prevention in collaboration with the Department of Health, as well as to distribute emergency parcels to the most vulnerable.