From a very young age I was interested in cooking and baking when grandma baked biscuits I was there, it always made me feel like I’m home that is what cooking is for. I live in Pretoria my whole life. Finished my matrix at Hoerskool Garsfontein and went to study hospitality and catering at the Pretoria College and later did my chef training at HTA culinary school. After my studies I went to work on the cruise ships for one year and enjoyed it very much was hard work but worth it every minute of the time. I will recommend it to go work overseas it is the best learning experience.
I love working with people and meeting new people, they say you hold something personal from every person you meet! I love dogs very much and wish I could have as many as possible that can fit into our home! I love spending time with family because in the end they are all that we have and going to the movies and believe it or not knitting and crochet.
I grew up in a small town in Mpumalanga, Secunda, and had very limited exposure to “fancy” food during my childhood. I did however love to spend time in the kitchen with my Granny and Mom, my 2 biggest inspirations. When it became time to look at high schools I wanted to go to a neighbouring town as they had cookery as a subject. This was very quickly discouraged as it was an era where young Afrikaans guys did not cook. I proceeded to go through high school and after high school went to study law at Rau. I hated every minute of it and after 6 months left. This is when my road to being a professional chef started.
I started working for my dad at his IT company with the aim to save enough money in order to pay for my Culinary studies. I soon realised that I would not be able to afford the tertiary fees and looked at alternative ways to become a chef. Dros was a very popular restaurant in Secunda and I went and applied for a waiter position there with the condition that I can work (as a volunteer) in their kitchen. I got the job and very quickly climbed the ladder up the ranks of the culinary industry. After about 3 years of extreme hard work I landed my first Executive Chef position at a small restaurant called Burnt Orange.
From there I spent the next 13 years being the Executive Chef at a number of lodges, hotels, restaurants and mass catering industries and received numerous accolades for this. Some of my career highlights were winning best dish of Taste of Joburg two years in a row, being elected a director of the South African Chefs’ Association, representing South Africa at the world food championships in the USA and appearing on numerous television programs.
This year I became a father and the reality struck me that it is now time to give back to the industry some of the knowledge and experience that I have gained over the last 16 years and I believe that Capital Hotel School is the perfect platform to do so.
Veronica comes from a disciplined background in Law enforcement, where she was always the one to be tasked with outreach programs and functions to breach the gap between cultures, as the country then stood knee deep in a transition stage.
Always interested in food preparation and from a family of avid cooks, that same discipline stood her in good grace when she decided to study French Patisserie at Christina Martin’s School of Food & Wine in Durban, a field that require a discipline of its own.
Over the years Veronica worked as a Pastry chef, Cold Kitchen, Hot Kitchen Preparation Chef, Breakfast Chef, and Deli Chef in Hotels and Lodges.
She also studied the art of a Butler, at the South African Butler’s Academy in Cape Town, another discipline, and worked as Housekeeping Supervisor locally, and as Room Attendant, overseas, an experience that she sees as most valuable to broaden one’s window to the world.
Although discipline runs like a thread through Veronica’s working career, she is widely known as a warm and caring human being and mentor that brings change and relays knowledge wherever she goes.