Also affectionately known as Sam or Sammy, in his early thirties, he is totally unexpected and a contradiction in every facet of his colourful life. He was born and bred in Welkom, in the Free State. When he finished school, he played rugby for the Northern Free State Griffins Rugby Club while studying at college.
Sam knew from an early age that his passion and future lay in the hospitality and tourism industry. He attended the Food & Beverage Institute in Bloemfontein for two-and-a-half years, where he was nominated as Chef of the Year. He then left South Africa for Naples in Florida, US. This was to be the start of his amazing journey.
After 18 months in the US, he moved to Dubai, and so began his four-and-a-half-year sojourn into the exotic world of culinary delights in Europe and the Middle East, finally ending in Africa, on Denis private island in the Seychelles.
Sam returned home to South Africa for family reasons but was soon back at work at Earth Lodge in Sabi Sabi as a Sous Chef and later as the Executive Chef, having been nominated as the Trade Programme’s Gourmet Guide’s 21 Top Chefs in 2018.
He later consulted to Lion Sands, Rora Private Retreats, and finally worked as a Private Chef at &Beyond.
Sam has worked at some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants such as Al Diwaan at the Al Maha in Dubai, the Carana Beach in Mahé, Seychelles, and the Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge Restaurant just to name a few. He has been fortunate to work alongside some of the world’s most renowned chefs namely Chef David Miras of France, Chef Bryce Carter in the US, Peter Sebby from Kenya, and the late Chef Kevin Gericke of South Africa, amongst others.
Sam’s true love is teaching others. He has an insatiable hunger for sharing his passion and his craft with those who are willing to absorb his knowledge.
Here at mFulawozi, he feels he has come home to the true wilderness of Africa. This is where Moshesh from the Mokoena Clan comes together with the Mthembu and Biyela Clans to form a wonderful, fulfilling partnership. Where both these communities will benefit every day from the teachings of Sam and enjoy the fruits of his labour. At mFulawozi he has the opportunity to practice his craft uninhibited and share his passion for teaching.
His life’s lessons are simple. He says respect others and humble yourself while being dedicated to your passion.
There is much we can learn from this talented young man, and we feel privileged to have someone of his stature and ilk, join and bring so much to our family.