Chef Wandile Mabaso
Affluence Magazine is one of the leading Luxury Publication had the opportunity to interview Gastronomic heavyweight, chef-extraordinaire and the only name on aficionados’ lips, Wandile Mabaso is prepping to set the Johannesburg culinary summer ablaze with his hip approach to French cuisine. Pursuing his training in South Africa, Wandile sharpened his skills & completed his evolution at the distinguished two Michelin Star ranked restaurant, Le Meurice. Under the guidance of the accomplished Alain Ducasse, the disruptor that is Wandile Mabaso has committed to bringing an innovative perspective to quintessential French food.
Acclaimed Chef Anthony Bourdian once said “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.” And in essence, this is the philosophy that Wandile Mabaso has embraced in his mission to introduce modern Franco-Haute cuisine to his beloved South Africa. The Soweto-born dynamo’s journey is regularly punctuated by stints at prestigious eateries extending from the cold Atlantic shores of North America to the bustling social buzz that is Europe’s food scene.
Ever the adventurer, Wandile finished his formal culinary training and in pursuit of the renowned Michelin Star found himself in New York, knowing not a soul and without a job. Here, ever the trailblazer, he charmed his into the kitchen of the swanky Gascogne restaurant and into the hearts of patrons. As fate would hate it, it’s here in the Big Apple that Wandile first encounters his mentor-to-be, Alain Ducasse. Wandile describes Ducasse as being “one of the greatest leaders of the century of our time. He has managed to evolve the culinary industry and inspire so many chefs, and continues to inspire them, including myself.” Accepting Ducasse’s invitation to join him in Paris, Wandile spent a year developing a deep understanding of French Cuisine. This experienced afforded him a natural adoration for the flare and provenance closely associated with all things food, all things wine and all things French.
This genius cookery connoisseur’s line of attack is constantly evolving, he is constantly looking for novel ways to buck the trend, but in doing so, constantly motivated to present traditional fare in an unconventional manner. Wandile has established a profound sense of his own style and instinctually re-invents exquisite tastes that are sure to impress even the most traveled palate. His penchant for perfection and eagerness to provide a new experience to his native South Africa, has ushered in the creation of #ByWandileInvitation – a series of immersive events with the aim of educating people about the nuances of French Cuisine and hosted in conjunction with the French Embassy and the French Institute in South Africa.
Such is his charm and expertise, Wandile Mabaso has been nominated by Alain Ducasse as the ambassador of French Cuisine to the country. During his country-wide tour, he will be imparting his vast accumulated knowledge to local chefs, enlightening them on ingredients, food preparation and French cooking techniques.
Future Plans and ambitions are in no short stock for this gastronomic wizard. He harbours a real desire for novelty and innovation, a desire to give life to his creativity. He has cheekily exposed that an upcoming project seeks to merge gastronomy and art – a concept that will involve one of the most prevalent South African artists at the moment – a mouth-watering prospect that has us sitting eagerly at the edge of our seats.
The inimitable chef Wandile’s exploits extends further than the confines of his quest for culinary excellence. The colour of his heart bleeds through as he advances on a journey with Instate France South Africa and the French Embassy to establish a bursary that will afford the opportunity to a deserving aspirant to immerse themselves in learning from the best chefs that France has to offer- again, baring testament to his willingness to impact the lives of others as positively as possible.
There are indeed some exciting times ahead, times that us here at Affluence are surely looking forward to. And it is with great pride that we welcome home one of the sons of our soil, striving to make his mark on the culinary landscape of our beloved South Africa – Wandile Mabaso, nous vous saluons, we salute you.