For the last 8 years, Ofentse Mathope has dreamt about getting an internship at NOMA restaurant in Copenhagen, which has received several major awards since its inception.
Ofentse’s dream has finally been realised and he will be heading to NOMA from 15 July – 19 October 2019 if he is able to raise the funds.
I strongly believe that this internship will be greatly beneficial for everyone that I will work with because I will be able to share the knowledge learned during my time at NOMA. Having completed my course I will be able to implement the skills gained using South African produce and in so doing discover local flavors like never before.
As a Sous chef at NCW Restaurant, Ofentse spends a lot of time doing intensive research on sustainable cooking and menu implementation as well skills development for staff in order to improve service.
We asked him a few questions about what inspires him and what he’s most looking forward to during his internship.
What first sparked your interest in food and cooking?
From a young age, I always enjoyed being in the kitchen and making food for others. I found it very challenging and stimulating to experiment with ingredients and flavours as it gave me a way to express myself. At age 16, the young entrepreneur in me starting baking and selling cakes – it was then that I realised that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Who has been the greatest influencer on your journey so far?
My greatest influence has always been René Redzepi, who is the creative genius behind NOMA Restaurant. Since I started my culinary journey, he has been known as the Mozart of cooking. He has a way of flawlessly combining ingredients and making them truly delicious. He has been credited with revolutionising the food world with his radical take on classic cuisine as he strives to achieve perfection and concoct bold, exciting dishes.
What are some of the cuisines that inspire you?
French, Nordic and African.
What are you most excited about and looking forward to during your time at NOMA?
NOMA will change my life forever because the restaurant has created its own style of cooking, which is why it has won so many awards over the past 10 years. I am looking forward to learning more about their unique methods for taking ingredients from the soil and how the ingredients are handled before being served to the guests.
What are your aspirations for the future?
To revolutionise African food and also make it creditable and internationally recognisable. I dream of opening the world’s first self sustaining restaurant that will set a trend and give meaning to green farming and business.
You can contribute to Ofentse’s NOMA internship via his GoFundMe page or by using the following banking details:
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch code: 4909
Account holder: MR OFENTSE O MATHOPE
Account number: 07 128 516 4
Account type: CURRENT
SWIFT code: SBZAZAJJ