Celeb chef Lorna Maseko speaks on her carrier, love life and friendship with Bonang Matheba

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When she switched from ballet to TV and little did she knew that her destiny would include pots and pans, now she is into cook books, Lorna Maseko is serving serious career goals.
The celebrity chef Lorna (36) has been on a international tour to promote her first cookbook, Celebrate with Lorna Maseko.

She had a tight schedule fully packed as she works on increasing her foodie fan base, but took time to visit the DRUM offices for a chat. She arrived a few minutes late, in a stylish monochrome outfit.

“Sorry I’m late, mo’ghel. I couldn’t find my car keys then had to take another car. But when duty calls, gwa Iwa,” she apologised.

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Lorna, along with her celeb bestie Bonang Matheba and Bonang’s cousin Pinkygirl, coined the phrases “gwa Iwa” (let’s go) and “mo’ghel” ( girl) on Being Bonang.

After her sudden exit from the reality TV show, which she became a regular, the rumour ground that her friendship with Bonang had soured.

As if to confirm the rumour, she and Bonang also unfollowed each other on Instagram and were noticeably absent from big achievementss in each other’s lives, like Bonang’s epic 32nd birthday party at Taboo and Lorna’s partnership with Tanqueray gin.

Lorna, however, was quick to set the record straight.

“People will always be peo
ple. When they don’t see public affection, they assume the worst.

“Bonang and I are still very close. I don’t get tired of people asking me about her because she’s my friend and it’s okay. I know where our relationship is. We are still chommas, we chat on WhatsApp and FaceTime,” she said.

Lorna has a posse of famous friends, including Jeannie D and Ayanda Thabethe.

“People like to ask if we hang out. That’s not the case, everyone has their own projects they are working on and we see each other when we can,” she said.

As a people-chef and entertainer, one would think she spends her Sundays cooking lunch and entertaining friends, but she’d much rather be home alone.

“I usually go to church in the mornings and the rest of the day is laziness. I used to cook for people on Sunday, but I tell my friends to spend time with their boyfriends and let me rest,” she giggled.

When she happens to have visitors, she makes sure they do feast.

“I never go wrong with seven colours on a Sunday: your stews, veggies, the works,” she said.

Having launched her cookbook in Sandton City Mall’s Diamond Walk, Lorna certainly ended 2019 on a high note.

Last year was rewarding but tough, she said. “Some of the things I wanted to achieve didn’t happen, so I’ve learnt not to take anything to heart. In life, there are low moments and high moments. Learn to keep it moving,” she said.

She was gutted when her show, The Hostess with Lorna Maseko, was not renewed for a third season, but she’s not the type who cries over spilt milk.

“I wanted The Hostess to return to screens, but it didn’t, and that was disappointing. Instead of feeling down I decided to focus on my cookbook and travel the world. It’s pointless for me to dwell on the negative,” she added.

Lorna prefers to see the glass half full and is happy her hard work over the years is bearing fruit.

“Never did I think I’d be at this point in my life. I just wanted to excel at something.

“I knew that whatever I become was going to have my full energy and time and I would be great at it,” Lorna said.

Back then, she used to consider a sandwich or salad a meal, but Lorna learnt to truly appreciate food in 2015 when she joined 10 celebrities to take
part in MasterChef South Africa Celebrity.

“After MasterChef, I came back thinking this is what I was looking to pursue. I was competitive and genuinely enjoyed being tested in the kitchen. On top of that I loved TV presenting and being in front of an audience, so that combined with food made me fall in love,” she said.

While she can cook for any occasion, she has some favourites. “I love my oxtail recipe, it’s hearty and rich. For dessert, I love my banoffee pie.”

Launching her book has taken up much of her time, giving her very little space to date.

“I’m not dating but feel free to find me someone,” she joked; “I’ve just really been focusing on myself and my work.

“Relationships are about finding the right person for you. I don’t think I’m there yet.

“I’d like someone who is loving, kind, sweet. I don’t worry too much about looks, just someone compassionate and someone who supports my goals and dreams,” she said.

Part of her dreams include more travelling and establishing a cooking show.

“I can’t wait to start, but nothing is finalised yet, mo’ghel. There is still a lot of work to be done. In April I will also be re-launching Cooking with Lorna and Friends as Celebrate with Lorna Maseko at The Maslow Hotel.

“This will be a friendly space for people to learn to cook, have fun and try local dishes they can cook at home.

“Celebrity chefs will come compete and just have fun and we will have light entertainment,” she said.

Her cooking career has taken flight but Lorna’s faith has kept her on her feet. “I haven’t always been grounded.

“I used to be wild, like any 21-year-old and then I got saved. That was when I started going to church. I needed something to ground me, and spiritual grounding felt right.

“It was a significant time, I needed it. I wasn’t going through something specific, but I needed a clean fresh start. People do yoga but I chose Jesus and my life has been peaceful since,” she said.

Her spiritual being, combined with her ballet background, has taught her patience and perseverance.

“Ballet is a bunch of people who stand in front of a mirror for nine hours a day trying to master dance routines, doing things repetitively until you get them right,” Lorna said;

“That is how I’ve approached my cooking and how I look at life – doing what I love repeatedly until I perfect it.”


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