Cape Cooking experiences

A variety of different cooking options can be booked through us:

  1. African Cooking in a Township in Cape Town
  2. Cape Malay Cooking in a home in the Bo-Kaap
  3. Cape Malay Cooking with Cass Abrahams
  4. Cooking or dining with Chef Kate in her kitchen in Cape Town (groups of 6 or more)
  5. Cooking with Chef Sophia (groups of 6 or more)
  6. Options for some other cooking options in the Cape region that you can book directly (scroll right to the bottom)

African Cooking in a local Township in Cape Town

Monday to Saturday.

Half Day:

Today you will be collected from your hotel at 09h00 for your tour.  We start the day with a visit to the District 6 Museum in Cape Town.   This is Cape Town’s apartheid museum.  This museum represents the memories of a community on the outskirts of Cape Town where over 60 000 people were forcefully removed from the mid 1960’s to the mid 1980’s.  This visit allows us the opportunity to discuss what led to apartheid in this country and to discuss how it was implemented.   From here we travel to Langa township to cook at a small cookery school that provides the local residents with the skills needed to get jobs in the kitchens of the top hotels in Cape Town.

This is one of only a handful of full time cooking schools based in a Cape Township.

The students are not from privileged homes.  As such the fees charged cannot be very high.  Money needs to be raised in order to provide these kids with tuition, which is done through a variety of entrepreneurial ventures.  They have created a restaurant out of shipping containers.  Here they serve traditional African cuisine to the local community and to visitors.  This facility is also used to cater for functions in the local area, as well as for the cooking classes.  This brings much needed revenue into the school.  A visit to the school and restaurant is a unique opportunity for you to interact with a community initiative that is really working.  Here you learn about African and Xhosa culture and cuisine.  This is an opportunity to interact with the locals and also for you to leave your mark on your journey to Cape Town.  Your visit means that you are contributing in a small way to this project.  90% of the graduates secure a job.  Incredible in a country with around 40% unemployment.

Highlights:

  • A welcome drink of ginger beer and a talk on African cuisine and culture

Hands-on cooking lesson where you learn to cook dishes like pap (similar to polenta), chakalaka, samp and a typical meat stew (note that in Africa a meal is not considered a meal if meat is not involved!

  • African beer drinking – learn the correct way of sharing the Xhosa beer (for groups of 4 or more)
  • Optional – see how a Smiley is prepared and have the opportunity to taste one.  A Smiley is a traditional delicacy enjoyed by the Xhosa people – the sheeps head is firstly placed on the BBQ to burn off any hair, it is then placed in a pot above a coal fire hearth (known as an Eziko) and gently cooked until the meat is tender.  It looks a little intimidating!  But tastes delicious!


Enjoy the dishes you have prepared in the schools restaurant and have the opportunity to taste a few other dishes that have been prepared in the restaurant.  To read more about the school check out my blog by clicking here.  

To read more about African cuisine – click here for the article on my blog

 Click here for Mamma Lindy’s recipes. 

To read feedback from an American agent and her group who recently experienced the tour, check out the article that Pricilla from Global Sojourns wrote on her website.

EXTEND YOUR VISIT ON WEEKDAYS:

Note that it is recommended to combine the cooking with an afternoon walking tour through Langa with a local guide. Highlights of the afternoon would be:

  • A walk through Langa township with a local resident who is trained as a guide
  • A visit to Guga S’thebe Community centre in Langa.  Here you have the opportunity to:
    • Visit the ceramics project and see how it is made
    • Watch a community project that keeps the local kids occupied with music and dance programs.  If you would like to, you are welcome to try your hand at playing Marimba music.
  • A walk through some of the informal settlement parts of the location
  • The opportunity to visit a Shabeen and taste locally brewed Sorghum beer.
  • A visit to a community crèche or after care centre.

Cape Malay Cooking in the Bo-Kaap (Half Day)

Our day starts with a visit to the District 6 Museum – this is a small apartheid museum which holds the memories of the residents of District 6 – an area on the edge of Cape Town where over 60 000 people were forcefully removed. We then do a short ramble through the city before we head through to the Bo-Kaap area. The Bo-Kaap represents the only area in the city of Cape Town where the Cape Malay community were not forcefully removed. It is a bright and colourful area that is one of the most photographed places in Cape Town. We enjoy a walk around the area and visit Atlas spices (which is the main spice shop), as well as two community projects in the area, before heading into a home of one of the ladies in the area.

A visit to the area is well worth it and most people would not leave Cape Town without taking a photograph of the houses. However, the opportunity for you to interact with the people in an area is always limited. As such this is wonderfully unique opportunity to spend some time with the ladies in the community. You can select to simply book for lunch or dinner with them, however, I would highly recommend that we come a little earlier and participate in the preparation of the lunch. This gives you time to chat to the ladies, to learn about their culture and their cuisine.

During your visit you will:

  •  Be welcomed with a glass of faloodah – a traditional rose syrup and milk drink
  •  Learn to make rooti’s from scratch
  • Fold samoosas and cook them
  • Learn how to make a traditional Cape Malay curry OR  a babotie ( a traditional South African mince dish that dates back to the late 1600′s) OR Denningvleis (a lamb dish made with Molasses (small supplement for lamb)

  • Sit down and enjoy the food you have made
  • Enjoy an interesting cup of cardamom tea at the end of the meal

Extend your tour to a FULL DAY TOUR  - Note that it is recommended to combine the cooking morning with an afternoon exploring the city. This is completely flexible to your interests – so tell us what they are!  Ideas for the afternoon would be:

  • The opportunity to visit two community projects – Monkeybiz and Streetwires
  • Explore the city by walking and seeing the architecture and experiencing the vibe of the city, with stops to check out the flea market – Greenmarket Square various other wonderful shops such as Tribal trends (which is one of the top African art and crafts shops in Cape Town).
  • Do a walk back through history by visiting the Company Gardens and walking through the oldest parts of Cape Town
  • Head up Table Mountain if you have not made it up yet!
  • Or spend the Afternoon tasting wines in the Constantia Wine region (renowned for its sauvignon blanc’s, the sweet Vin de Constance and some excellent reds)

Cape Malay Cooking with Cass Abrahams (half day plus lunch)

The Cape Malay cuisine is the oldest cuisine of the Cape people. It emerged from the Malay slaves who worked in the kitchens of their Dutch masters. They could not resist adding some spice to the bland Dutch cuisine!

Today we join local “foodie” celebrity Cass Abrahams – the renowned authority on Cape Malay cuisine – for a talk and a cooking demonstration (or hands on cooking) in her home in the Southern suburbs of Cape Town.

 Highlights:

  • Introduction by Cass Abrahams to the history of the Cape Malay people and the recipes that emerged from the blend of the eastern spices and Dutch cuisine. Cass has spent many years researching the cuisine of her people; she obtained recipes from the old people in the community, dug into the archives and researched the history of her people and their cuisine.
  • Cooking demonstration of typical Cape Malay dishes (tasting as you go along!) Volunteers will be asked to come and assist with the cooking
  • Enjoying a relaxing lunch with Cass.
  • If the weather is good – enjoy relaxing outdoors  in the sunshine!

The class includes:

  • The cooking demonstration and talk by Cass Abrahams
  • A three course lunch (note that the menu changes at Cass’s discretion – however please tell us in advance if there is anything you do NOT eat)

Note that no alcohol can be served as Cass’s home is a Muslim home

Read Merle’s blog about her recent cooking experience with Cass Abrahams

Note that the Cooking with Cass Experience can be booked as a self drive or as a tour. Location: Southern Suburbs of Cape Town – about 20 minutes from the city. 

Note for wine enthusiast groups – Cooking with Cass can be booked on a wine farm where wines will be paired with lunch. (minimum 10 people)

Cooking/Dinner with Chef Kate in her kitchen  (groups of between 6 & 12 people)

Kate took the plunge to open her own small cooking school in September 2010.  She trained at one of the best cooking schools in the country, Silwood Kitchens, prior to launching into world of being a chef.   Her journey took her to a variety of jobs including Singita (the most definitive & upmarket foodie safari spot you can visit), through to Sabi Sabi, working on yachts for a millionaire in the Caribbean and finally to a top catering and event company.

Kate’s classes:

Join me in my cozy kitchen and learn how to cook the delicious dishes you love to eat. The meals we will prepare together are simple to make, impressive to serve and scrumptious to eat. Classes are run as an interactive demonstration, so you can sit back and watch how it’s done, or get elbow deep in the cooking. Each lesson is designed in such a way that you’ll leave the session having grasped some good solid cooking basics to build your gourmet repertoire on. I’ll also answer all your questions and give you all the important information you’ll need to make the dishes on your own at home.

Starting with a brief introduction followed by a two hour lesson, the classes end with everybody sitting down to enjoy the meal that’s been prepared with some lovely wine and new friends. I’ll also give you great table decor suggestions and party tips to make it fun and easy to entertain. Think of the food room as an alternative to eating at a restaurant, or slaving away over a hot stove. You’ll still get the fabulous dinner, can have your friends join you, but this way, you acquire the skills to repeat your experience effortlessly in the comfort of your own home!

(Note you have the option to just book for dinner or lunch or for the cooking class, followed by the meal)

Kate is open to brief on what you would like to learn or eat when visiting!  Some ideas:


  1. South African Braai (BBQ)
  2. Gourmet South African dishes with a modern twist
  3. Basics Go Gourmet:
    1. porcini, butternut, biltong and gorgonzola lasagne.
    2. macaroni with chorizo, roasted rosa tomatoes and goat’s cheese
    3. caramelized bangers and mash
    4. lightly curried apricot chicken on spicy rice
    5. apple crumble with blueberries and pecans
  4. Great Course idea for Jan or early Feb – THE SEDUCTION DINNER – Be prepared to create your own Valentine’s extravaganza
    On the menu…oysters topped with an avocado, chilli and lime salsabresaola, mozzarella and strawberry skewers to begin…tomato and goat’s cheese tarts with caramelized onion and a balsamic glaze.

the main event…

lemon, pinenut and spinach filled chicken, wrapped in bacon and served on a spring onion mash with chargrilled courgettes, rocket and a herbed vinaigrette

a sweet ending…

decadent black forest chocolate trifle for 2

Cooking with Chef Sophia (groups of 6 or more)

This works for any group wishing to have lunch or dinner in a local home in Cape Town, through to a group of friends wanting to meet up for a cooking lesson or a company wanting a fun way to team build. Simply send us your request and we will put a proposal together.

Sophia’s story:

Everyone who has tasted my food has asked me the big question, “Where did you train?” Well, my love affair with food started at about five years of age. Perhaps even earlier – I think it’s in my genes! I grew up surrounded by kitchen aromas, and at around five years of age, began to show an interest.

So, my grandfather fielded a wooden box for me to reach the stove beside my Lebanese Granny. And, to this day, the smell of garlic takes me straight back there… My late Mother was a very powerful force in shaping my current ‘chefdom’! One of the things she did was to allow me to be creative in the kitchen. She would ask me to prepare the meal from an early age on, and never dictate what I should be doing. She gave me the wings to fly beyond the conventional clouds of flavour in the kitchen. And so, her little Right Brain Chef was born…

My Afrikaans Ouma, whom I only saw twice a year, was also a brilliant cook, and her passion for the traditional food of our beautiful country inspires me to this day. And then, yes, I studied food and wine for six years, but these years really only put words to a melody that had been playing throughout my Life!

Ideas that work well:

GOURMET BRAAI (BBQ) FOR A GROUP (Recommended group size 10 or more)

On any summer evening in South Africa literally thousands of families will be gathered around the BBQ. Most of the time the women will be in the kitchen preparing the salads and breads to accompany the feast and sipping on glasses of sauvignon blanc. The men will be outside preparing the fire and the meat (usually steak, lamb chops and Boerewors (an Afrikaans sausage). This is serious work and requires a few bottles of South African Breweries beers to make sure it goes smoothly). Once all the hard work is done, everyone sits down to the feast and usually match the meat with a South African red wine such as Pinotage (which is a uniquely South African wine varietal ideal for drinking with red meat).

We invite your group to join Sophia in preparing their own traditional South African braai (with a few gourmet twists) in her home in the Cape Town Southern Suburbs for the evening.

This is hands on for everyone who wants to be involved. Note every braai is about having great supporters who keep those who are working happy by merrily chatting to them as they work.

It is a relaxed evening of gaining insight into how we as South Africans relax around the Barbie at night, as well as an insight into one of our major national cuisines!

HANDS ON COOKING LESSON PREPARING MODERN SOUTH AFRICAN DISHES

This evening involves the hands on preparation of dishes that are inspired by African flavours, ingredients and dishes that were prepared by our ancestors. Examples of this would puff pastry babotie pies. Babotie is a traditional Afrikaans and Cape Malay dish which many South Africans grew up with. This evening gives one insight into our people and our cuisine. Dependant on the number of people the booking is made for it can be combined with a wine tasting hosted by a local wine master.

OTHER OPTIONS INCLUDE:

  • Simply book for dinner for an evening that introduces South African cuisine or for a special occasion.
  • Team building cooking evening or lunch – Sophia works with the managers to plan splitting teams into groups where they have to prepare dishes and she does the judging and award giving.  It is lots of fun!

Some pictures of Sophia’s home in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town:


Note:  prices are subject to quotation as they are dependant on the brief. Please e-mail us for a quote.

OTHER IDEAS FOR FOODIES!  SOME MORE IDEAS FOR CAPE COOKING CLASSES: 

  1. African Relish Cooking Schoolthis one will require some pre-planning before coming as it is located in a little “foodie” village called Prince Albert.  This village is located fairly close to the Garden Route region – so if you are planning to do the garden route and are a foodie – it makes complete sense to see whether you can combine it with a few nights in Prince Albert.  Check the schools website to see if there are any cooking classes scheduled for while you are visiting.  This is a combination with wonderful foodie village, interesting artisenal food companies and a fab cooking school.  Sheer heaven for any foodie! 
  2. Liam Tomlin – a famous Irish Chef who owned an award winning Australian restaurant has launched a cooking school in Cape Town.  This school has scheduled classes on specific dates.  As such it is worth checking out the dates in case they co-incide with when you are visiting in the area!  Click here to visit The Chefs Warehouse
  3. New – Cooking with the Countess!  This one looks fascinating and I plan to try it out sometime in winter!   Countess Enrica Rocca lived in Cape Town for 11 years.  During this time she had two restaurants in Cape Town – an Italian restaurant in the suburbs and a Venetian-style tapas bar in the city.  She has now opened a cooking school in Venice (her Dad had a cooking school there), and has opened another one in London and recently she has launched a third school in Cape Town in Constantia.  The Cape Town School is a joint venture with a friend Emma Freddi.  Emma previously had a company called Pasta Freddi – which supplied fresh pasta to restaurants around Cape Town.  Naturally, the classes will have an Italian focus!  Note that Emma’s house also has a guest suite option for out of town visitors.  Note classes will be small – 8 maximum.  Full day classes on Friday and Sunday R1950 (Priced May 2012), include trips to the Constantia Wine Estates.  Half day classes are between 6pm and 11pm, R600 on Monday, R900 on Tuesday.  Contact details for The Enrica Rocca Cape Town School:  Emma Freddi on +27 82 378 8855 or efreddi69@yahoo.com
  4. George Jardine is one of South Africa’s top chefs.  His home is now a very gorgeous restaurant on Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.  During winter he offers bread making courses on a Saturday morning for R650 (winter 2012) as well as other courses.  Check their website for details if you are keen.  Click here.  Note that this restaurant has amazing views and it would be a treat just to spend a morning here – even without the cooking!  They also offer superb valley for money in terms of their price structure of their courses.  It is fine dining with all the bells and whistles, plus an amazing view and some of the countries best wines!  Not to be missed!
  5. The Foodbarn, Noordhoek, Cape Town – this is home to one of South Africa’s top Chefs Franc Dangereux.  During winter he does a cooking demo for free every Wednesday night as long as you are staying for dinner!   I cannot recommend this highly enough.  He is wonderfully charismatic and makes everything look and sound so simple!  His food is an absolute delight – so staying for dinner is no hardship! The only problem is that you have to be restrained with the vino if you are going to drive back to Cape Town Central as it takes about half an hour to get back!
  6. Dine-with-a-local: This is a wonderful opportunity to go for dinner with a local couple or family.  I would simply request that you would love to experience a braai (BBQ) and also ask to come and assist with making dinner!  This way you will get a true experience of our favourite local passtime – braaiing!  This is a staple dinner in summer for us locals!
  7. Bread-making course hosted by Bread & Wine restaurant on Moreson Wine Estate in Franschhoek.  Click here for details.  These also occur on scheduled dates.  Current cost R700 per person.
  8. Sense of Taste Cooking School – Cape Town and Istanbul!  Chef Peter Ayub offers a variety of classes in his Cape Town Studio.  He seems to be currently (May 2012) focusing on building his new restaurant called On a Roll ……..Dog’s kitchen (a fab and funky gourmet hot dog restaurant) – so the cooking classes seem to be less frequent.  It is however worth checking out his website too to see if anything is on while you are here!  If not – head out for a gourmet hot dog!  Check out my blog on the hotdogs by clicking here! 
  9. Stir Crazy Cooking School runs daily hands-on and demonstration classes from their kitchen in Hout Bay (Cape Town).  These classes are aimed at the recreational at home chef!  Classes are limited to between 8 and 10 participants.  Check out their website for class details or e-mail them on info@stircrazycatering.co.za
  10. Raw food classes and Chocolate classes: To learn more about raw food diets, superfoods and how chocolate is actually good for you, visit the Superfoods website to check out dates for their courses and seminars.

Tags: Cape Cooking Classes, Cape Town Cooking classes, Cape Winelands cooking classes.      Cook with top South AFrican chefs in the Cape!  Information on cooking classes in Cape Town.