- SA CELEBRITY CHEF
Wynand Schoeman is one of South Africa’s most accomplished chefs with many years of experience cooking in some of the country’s most acclaimed restaurants and hotels. Wynand is also well known for his achievements at prestigious cooking competitions such as the Unilever Chef of the Year, the Fedics Regional Chef of the Year, the McCain Tribute to Good Taste competition and Salon Culinaire.
He is also one of the youngest Culinary Judges for South Africa and a committee member of the South African Chefs Association. Food art, such as fruit and vegetable carvings, butter sculptures, ice sculpturing, chocolate show pieces, molecular gastronomy and sugar art show pieces and décor, is just a few of his culinary talents.
Cooking with international chefs at the Good Food and Wine Show and judging the Checkers Boerewors competition is all in a day’s work for Wynand. His passion and ambition to be the best chef he can be, motivates him to strive for more in his kitchen each day. Wynand loves to act as mentor to young chefs. With Sjef, Wynand aims to educate the public about the exciting and challenging career he is so passionate about. And taking fine dinning home.
Wynand’s career started as a pizza delivery boy when he was in high school. He soon progressed to being a waiter and an excellent one at that. He was headhunted to work at a large convention centre and found himself one of the youngest managers there in just a few years. Wynand’s passion lay in cooking, though and he moved to the big city of Pretoria to increase his opportunities to work with food. This paid off when, while working in a large hotel, he studied as a chef and worked his way to Executive Chef.
A move to Fedics was next on the career path for this talented young man and he soon became well-known for his successes in some of South Africa’s most prestigious culinary competitions. He says that presenting 750 people with plated meals was soon a walk in the park but challenges always presented themselves – such as the conference which required meals for 1500 delegates to be prepared in a truck between 4am and midnight and an event where 11 thousand people were expected but 13 thousand showed up.
A move to Durban’s casino was next and Wynand ran the 11 kitchens in his care with his usual professionalism and flair, managing over 200 staff. Hotels soon beckoned again, though, and Wynand has managed the development of many a successful hotel kitchen.
Wynand credits the experience he has gained from working with top national and international chefs and from facing tough opponents in culinary competitions with his success, while hard work and perseverance have also played a big part.