Finale of cooking for a cause stirs up cultural inspiration, with Eastern Cape flavours coming out tops.

The finale of Chef David Higgs’ second season of “Cooking for a Cause – delivered DHL” took place last night at the Miele Performance Centre in Bryanston. The Eastern Cape’s Kholiwe Rafu (IG: @kholiwe_cooks) was crowned the winner of this second season. All proceeds from the show have been donated to the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund.

“This season, and especially tonight’s finale, has highlighted what it means to really cook from the heart,” says David. “Our contestants were all from such diverse background – Italian, South African and Indian – and all four presented incredible dishes. Kholiwe’s dish really demonstrated this diversity – big, bold flavours that made you go back for more; and perfectly cooked fish – well done!”

Kholiwe currently resides in Modderfontein in Gauteng, but is originally from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, where her mother, who’s a teacher, as well as her family and friends all gathered together to watch Kholiwe compete in the finale. An incredibly proud and tearful Kholiwe scooped the show’s top place with hake coated in homemade garam masala, crispy za’atar bread with garlic, and a creamy mushroom pasta.

This ingredient box for the finale from Food Lovers Eatery included hake – its affordability making it something of a local staple for many South Africans, but also quite tricky to cook. The other finalists – Kaval Shah (IG: @shahs_in_sa), Debbie Spazzoli (IG: @zimbo64) and Katharine Liese (IG: @sublyme_eats) also produced incredible flavour combinations.

“I’ve always said, and I think a lot of South Africans agree, that the kitchen is the heart and soul of our family life. We live in a time characterised by what differentiates us, but Cooking for a Cause has once again reminded us that we have the same heart and soul – our kitchens. This is where we show love for each other. And to be able to realise that, and in turn support the South African hospitality industry through the Eat Out Relief Fund, has been incredibly special,” says Marcelle Gordon, co-host of the show and well-known TV anchor.

During the finale, Eat Out also announced the next stage of their fund’s journey: The Eat Out Food School, opening in February 2021. In partnership with Accredited Training Provider Drum Beat Academy, the school will offer fully funded 12-month accredited Learnerships to 15 students who meet the criteria and show a passion for the industry. Students who are successful will also receive a monthly stipend to cover costs. Online Applications for the Class of 2021 are now open.“We strive to inspire and connect a community to make a difference in the world, one meal at a time. Our aim is to help rebuild the restaurant industry in South Africa by giving back and upskilling the historically disadvantaged youth to increase employment within the industry” says Tarryn Corlett, Head of the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund & Food School Trust.

“This season has been really special to me, and everyone who has worked on the production,” David adds. “Throughout this series, our contestants have given it their all – there have been plan B’s and C’s, and lots of Boschendal to help them along. We thank everyone for their donations, support on social media and for watching.”

Season 2 of Cooking for a Cause was proudly delivered by DHL and sponsored by Food Lovers Eatery, Fatti’s & Moni’s, Miele, Bacardi, Boschendal Wines and Le Creuset. The series is produced by Premier Lifestyle (IG: @premierlifestylesa) and OTS Events (IG: @ontrendstylevents).

Follow David on Instagram to learn more.