A sweet triumph: celebrating Motheba Makhetha, the Eat Out Cacao Barry Dessert Award winner


Brought to you by Cacao Barry

Motheba Makhetha, the sous chef and pastry chef at The Jordan Restaurant with Marthinus Ferreira, stands as a beacon of creativity and inspiration in the realm of culinary excellence. Her recent recognition as the Eat Out Cacao Barry Dessert Award winner is not just an accolade; it’s a testament to her dedication, innovation, and the profound impact she’s making in the culinary world.

Expressing her pride in cooking on a prominent platform like the Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards, Motheba says, “To be sharing this space with a group of strong, ambitious, and creative like-minded women is a massive win all on its own.” Her acknowledgement extends beyond her personal achievement, celebrating the collective success and representation of women in the culinary industry.

Motheba’s culinary journey is deeply rooted in her family’s tradition of sharing a passion for food. Raised in an environment that embraced her culinary aspirations, she fondly reminisces, “I’ve always loved cooking, and my love language has always been feeding and sharing my love of food with people. From a young age my mom always knew I took after her mom with our shared love of food. So growing up my family always welcomed the idea of me becoming a chef.”

The Eat Out Cacao Barry Dessert Award holds special significance for Motheba, not just as recognition of her skills but as validation from those she has admired. “For people that I’ve looked up to for so long to say that my work is worth an Eat Out award is an out-of-body experience,” she reflects. Far from viewing it as the pinnacle of her culinary journey, Motheba sees the award as a catalyst for greater excellence, pushing her to reach new heights.

Motheba’s approach to cooking and dessert-making is guided by fundamental principles that reflect her commitment to excellence. “Always taste EVERYTHING!” she advises, emphasising the importance of a refined palate. Her humility is evident in her openness to seek assistance, recognising that others may offer fresh perspectives. Encouraging perseverance, she advocates for taking a step back when overwhelmed, regaining composure, and trying again – a philosophy mirroring her resilient and innovative approach to culinary art.

When asked about her signature style, Motheba says, “I have two go-to ingredients, salt and vanilla. Salt enhances everything, and vanilla balances flavours.” While maintaining consistency with these elements, she ensures each dish boasts unique textures and flavours, avoiding monotony and aiming for constant innovation.

Approaching her creative process with a unique perspective, Motheba says that her best dishes often result from “happy accidents”. Her inventive approach to dessert design is characterised by spontaneity and an openness to unforeseen outcomes. As she continues to break barriers, nurture creativity, and inspire aspiring chefs, Motheba’s culinary journey stands as a sweet triumph in the world of desserts and beyond.

Motheba’s prize for winning the award is the opportunity to take part in the Or Noir experience in France where she will craft her own signature chocolate!

Click here to see the full list of winners for 2023!

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