People | 19 Aug 2015 | By Sun International

Sun International Chefs Spearhead Hunger Alleviation Programmes in South Africa

“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”

Sun International’s chefs have taken this quote by US First Lady Michelle Obama to heart, and made it their mission to spearhead hunger alleviation programmes in South Africa through fundraisers, mentoring entrepreneurs and even running a mobile soup kitchen. 
Here’s how their good deeds have brought hope, help and happiness to those in need:

  • The Palace of the Lost City’s Executive Chef Nicholas Froneman, together with the Academy of Chefs, recently replaced their chef hats with thinking caps and cooked up a plan to bring much-needed funding to the Nepalese Disaster Fund. They hosted an expansive dinner for 130 guests at The Palace of the Lost City on 3 July, along with a high-end auction. The evening was a resounding success: combined with funds raised from another dinner hosted by the Academy of Chefs in May, a total of R245 000 was handed over to the Ambassador of Nepal, Honourable Amrit Rai, at the event. Additionally, The Palace of the Lost City – with the assistance of the Academy of Chefs – raised R510 000 through three different fundraising initiatives. This money is being used to build an orphanage in Monakato.
  • In the kitchens at The Table Bay hotel, Lufefe Nomjana’s humble bakery Espinaca Innovations (Spinach Innovations) has grown from strength to strength under the mentorship of the hotel’s culinary team. Two days a week, Lufefe (the Spinach King) makes the most of the “opportunity of a lifetime” in the pastry kitchens to expand his skills and knowledge. He also has input from the management teams on how to optimize the business aspect of the bakery. He says that the training and experience he is receiving at The Table Bay is certain to open up opportunities for his business. “I am excited about developing new products and extending my brand into hotels,” says Lufefe.
  • In July, the coldest month of the year, The Maslow dished up warm food to those in need through their mobile soup kitchen, which travelled across Johannesburg’s townships and informal settlements.  Executive chef at the Maslow Hotel, Jason Millar said: “For many members of these communities, this soup will serve as their only substantial meal for the day. I’m privileged to be able to make that one meal a magnificent one.” Not only did the Maslow fill empty stomachs at the mobile soup kitchen but warm blankets were handed out as well. Watch the video here.

The Sun International chefs have been an army of Good Samaritans and their hunger alleviation programmes in South Africa have not only filled stomachs, but made an intentional, lasting change in many lives.

Lufefe Nomjana started his bakery Espinaca Innovations by baking bread in his neighbour's oven. He is being mentored by The Table Bay Hotel's chefs to expand his skills.

The Table Bay Hotel's management teams are training Lufefe to manage the business aspect of his bakery as efficiently as possible. He plans to expand into the 5-star hotel industry. The Ambassador of Nepal, Honorable Amrit Rai and his family.
Pictured from left to right is David Keir, Group Executive Chef and Stephen Billingham, President of the South African Chef's Association. Pictured from left to right is Nicholas Froneman, Executive Chef at The Palace of the Lost City; Bruce McKay, General Manager: Hotel and F&B Operations Sun City; Crawford Day, F&B Manager at The Palace of the Lost City; Mike van Vuuren, Managing Executive Sun City and Craig Tibitt, General Manager of F&B for Casino Operations, Sun International and Dr Billy Gallagher.