From waitress to Assistant Head Chef at Jock Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park, Xolile Ndlovu is bringing her culinary talents to the luxurious private game lodge. Starting her career in hospitality as a waitress at the Hilton in Durban, Xolile worked her way up the kitchen ranks as she trained to become a chef. By 2005 she was the assistant chef at the a la carte kitchen and main kitchen in the hotel, before being promoted to commis chef and then to chef de partie in 2008.
She then took up a position at a 5-star game reserve and was responsible for managing the kitchen and took full responsibility in the absence of the head chef. From there she moved to Swaziland at a prestigious catering company. There she extended her skill set and was in charge of the kitchen, menu planning, stock control, hygiene, ordering food and stock take, all of which really improved her management skills.
Returning to the safari life, she took up the role of chef de partie at Jock Safari Lodge in 2013 and has worked her way up to her current position as Assistant Head Chef. She manages the kitchen and her staff as well as ordering, stock control, planning menus, food costing, preparing a la carte menus and buffets and making sure that hygiene is of a high standard.
Cuisine at Jock Safari Lodge is traditionally authentic South African, yet with elegant highlights, all beautifully paired and presented and complemented by fine wines and Champagnes. Boma night is a feast for the senses with an array of game meat to tease the palette in the form of hearty stews, grills and South African potjies. Fresh produce is the key to all dishes with hearty vegetarian options aplenty