Life in the Kitchen

SA Women Chefs. At Home in the World's Top Kitchens.


It’s Women’s Day on August 9th, and August is Women’s Month, so we’re celebrating some amazing women.

It’s tough work being a chef, as it’s always been a very competitive profession, with a high-pressure work environment and long, family-unfriendly hours. Perhaps that’s why historically, there haven’t been as many women chefs as men, but their numbers are growing. We’re impressed. And here in South Africa, female chefs are excelling.


One of these wonderful women is Malika van Reenen, award-winning Executive Chef at Signal Restaurant at the Cape Grace in Cape Town, where the innovative menu “celebrates the Cape’s rich variety of culture with dishes that pay homage to local flavours and accent European classics.”


Van Reenen, a Cape Town local, has been in the hospitality industry for 18 years, so she’s a lady with a lot of experience and skill.


Here in South Africa, female chefs are excelling in the culinary arts.

This sparkly, energetic woman says her mom and grandmother were a great inspiration since childhood, when she was surrounded by the tempting aromas coming from the family kitchen.

Graduating from chef school in 1998, Malika gained experience in the UK, then returned to South Africa to continue her career and explore her love of food and cooking.

Today, she’s Executive Chef of the Cape Grace’s Signal Restaurant and still loves the spicy tastes and flavours of her Cape Malay roots, which she incorporates into the menu.


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