JUDGES

Zola Nene

Renowned TV chef, food stylist and cookbook author, Zola Nene can only be described as a culinary force. 

Zola was originally on the path to become a lawyer. However, she soon realised that the profession was not her calling and decided to explore her deep love for food. During a gap year in England, Zola worked at a brasserie as a hot section chef, and then as a head pastry chef. Upon returning to South Africa, she immediately enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch, where she earned the opportunity to work with top local chefs, Margot Janse and Chris Erasmus.  

After graduating, Zola fused her creative abilities with her passion for food and - for six months - she perfected her craft as a food assistant at a leading lifestyle magazine. During this time, Expresso Show approached Zola and offered her a position as a food stylist. As the show became wildly popular, so did she. Zola is now the resident Head Chef on the show and has captured the hearts of many South African foodies.

Adding to her list of accolades, Zola was a judge for the 2016 LANCEWOOD Cake-Off®, Zola is now an author of her very own cookbook, she has won an award for best TV Celebrity Chef and placed second in the category of Best TV Chef Book at the prestigious 2017 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

Lorna Maseko

Vivacious, business-savvy ballet dancer, food lover and culinary princess, Lorna Maseko is woman of many talents. Born in Alexandra, she has catapulted her captivating brand into homes across Mzansi.

Lorna’s love affair with food began when she was chosen to be a contestant on the first ever South African Celebrity MasterChef. Her innate passion for creating amazing food saw her place in the top six.

Continuing on her food adventure, Lorna launched her own amazing project called Cooking with Lorna and Friends - a series of cooking events on her blog. Now in its fourth year, the blog has become wildly popular amongst foodies all over South Africa.

Lorna has also added the title of TV host to her impressive resume, presenting the local version of the international, Emmy-nominated show, Top Chef. This experience inspired her to create her own cooking show, The Hostess on SABC 3.

J’Something

Meet J’Something, an award-winning musician, TV host, restauranteur and cookbook author.

J’Something grew up in a home where his mom would cook delicious meals for the family on a daily basis.  Because of this, food became personal for J’Something and has become reflective of his everyday life. From an early age, J’Something started experimenting with techniques and flavours. In 2014, he turned this passion into a career, hosting two popular foodie TV shows.

To J’Something, food is all about the love story it tells. This inspired him to open his first restaurant, Something’s Cooking by J’Something. The dishes are described as a fusion of his Portuguese heritage and the hearty South African food he loves.

In 2017, J’Something was selected as the headline chef at The Good Food & Wine Show where he shared the stage with Marco Pierre White and George Calombaris.

More recently, J’Something has been chosen as judge on the South African version of the international cooking show, My Kitchen Rules, for both season one and two. He has also released a new cookbook entitled #SomethingsCooking.