One To Watch

jo’burger Luyanda Mafanya’s recipes are grow­ing her brand on­line – one Like at a time

Condé Nast House & Garden - - ADDRESS BOOK - n luyan­daseatery.word­

When food blogger Luyanda Mafanya tweeted lo­cal hip-hop star Cassper ny­ovest in May 2017, ask­ing whether she could cook for him in her ca­pac­ity as pri­vate chef, it was a shot in the dark. her gutsy re­quest landed her a sur­pris­ing re­sponse from the celebrity: if she se­cured 10K retweets, he’d oblige. The retweets lit­er­ally hap­pened overnight, she scored the gig and amassed a few thou­sand ad­di­tional fol­low­ers for her brand, Cook­ing with Luyanda.

This 24-year-old Jo­han­nes­burger’s chutz­pah has since seen her fronting cam­paigns for Wool­worths, steers and al­bany, and she’s cur­rently a con­tes­tant in the lat­est sea­son of My Kitchen Rules. she puts this pop­u­lar­ity down to her au­then­tic­ity as a self-taught chef. ‘Peo­ple re­late to me be­cause I’m pre­sent­ing nor­mal, easy food. I’m not try­ing to cook scal­lops or ce­viche. I’m serv­ing sim­ple seafood pas­tas and homely stews.’ her 22K In­sta­gram fol­low­ers are proof of this ap­peal, with ‘likes’ rolling in for dishes such as cheesy meat­balls, samp and lamb stew, and beef bones with chunky vegeta­bles. ‘It’s want-to-get-your-hands-in-there type of food,’ she at­tests, ex­plain­ing that many of the dishes she posts on her blog take just 30 min­utes to pre­pare and are gen­er­ally bud­get-friendly.

started in 2015 thanks to stu­den­tres friends’ con­stant re­quests for the recipes to the food im­ages she was post­ing on her Twit­ter feed, the blog has an ever-in­creas­ing fan­base – from work­ing moms to kitchen-con­fi­dent bach­e­lors. This growth, cou­pled with more book­ings to cook for pri­vate func­tions, led to Luyanda leav­ing her stud­ies in lo­gis­tics at the univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg last year to pur­sue her culi­nary pas­sion full time.

With dreams to one day have her own cook­ing show and de­velop a recipe book, there seems to be no stop­ping this en­ter­pris­ing en­trepreneur. ‘I have noth­ing to lose,’ she smiles.

luyanda’s in­sta­gram posts in­clude asianstyle ginger and lemon­grass tilapia (top right), and her own take on the clas­sic club sand­wich (be­low)

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