CASS ABRAHAMS


Zomerlust Restaurant - Paarl, South Africa


Cass Abrahams is internationally renowned as one of South Africa's cooking doyennes, having carved a niche for herself in culinary circles using traditional Cape Malay spices to cook up indigenous dishes. She is an accomplished restaurateur, chef and author. Abrahams is the Executive Chef at De Waterblommetjie Restaurant at the Castle of Good Hope, de Leuwenjagt at Seidelberg Estate and the historic Zomerlust in Paarl. She is also is a consultant for the establishment of various restaurants – Jonkershuis at Spier, The Cape Malay Kitchen at Cellars Hohenhort, The Cape Kitchen at Lanzerac.

Abrahams has shared her recipes and the histories attached to each of them in two cookbooks - The Cuisine and Culture of the Cape Malays and Cass Abrahams Cooks Cape Malay Food from Africa. Her awards include: Chaine des Rotisseurs, Honorary Grande Diploma – Culinary Art Institute of Africa, Honorary Award : Chefs Association of South Africa and Honorary Grande Diploma – Silwood Cordon Bleu.

She was a partner at the firm Ethnic Cuisine for 5 years, developing and promoting various Cape products at home and abroad; a radio Host of the Cooking programme on Voice of the Cape and a guest on other Radio Stations; has appeared on numerous television programmes in South Africa and abroad; and is a consultant for product development for various firms among them Tastic Rice, Colmans, Rainbow Cuisine and various small companies.

In her 60s, Abrahams, who is better know as Cass - short for Cassandra has travelled the world sharing the art of Cape Malay cooking. Abrahams, who despite her achievements still prefers to be in the kitchen, describes her love affair with cooking as a "long story" but says that she only lifted the lid to these culinary skills in her 30s when she got married. "I found that I had peace and tranquillity when I was cooking. I loved the smell and the energy that flowed. "I still love seeing the appreciation of food. I like people enjoying my food."

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