Beyond the plate-Nyarie’s Place serves up empowerment, education Chef Nyarie and her team

Mbulelo Mpofu, [email protected]

BULAWAYO has recently emerged as a culinary hotspot, abuzz with exciting gastronomic events like Munch & Sip.

At the forefront of this revolution is Nyaradzo Makaza, the visionary founder of Chef Nyarie’s Place, who is making a name for herself in the city’s rich food scene.

The dynamic entrepreneur isn’t just a successful caterer; she’s also a passionate educator, dedicated to fostering the talents of the next generation of culinary stars.

Chef Nyarie (with white apron) teaching Thomas Rudland Primary School culinary skills.

Makaza’s path to gastronomy wasn’t linear. After failing her O-levels, her uncle’s suggestion to pursue a hotel and catering course sparked a passion for the culinary arts that would forever alter her life’s trajectory.

“It was never my passion growing up,” Makaza admits. “But after that course, I began to have a true love and passion for it.”

Since its 2019 debut, Chef Nyarie’s Place has become a go-to catering service, whipping up delectable dishes for weddings, birthdays, corporate functions and all sorts of celebrations.

“What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to quality, creativity and customer satisfaction. We specialise in crafting culinary masterpieces that not only delight the palate but also captivate the senses,” Makaza explained.

Makaza’s influence, however, reaches far beyond delicious dishes. A dedicated educator, she’s on a mission to empower the next generation of culinary stars, sharing her knowledge and skills with aspiring chefs and food enthusiasts of all ages.

“Without O-levels, you can still make it like me. So I’m empowering the community with my skills and knowledge, giving them hope again. Just acquire any form of education and skills, especially artisanal ones so that you can be self-sufficient,” she said.

Thomas Rudland Primary School posing for a photo with the food they prepared after a lesson with Chef Nyari

Makaza’s passion for nurturing young talent shines brightest in her efforts to introduce culinary arts to primary school children.

“I enjoy teaching the eight-year-olds and up the most because I want them to understand what they want now, and the children are loving the journey. They are showing an interest in culinary arts work skills.”

Makaza’s passion isn’t confined to Thomas Rudland Primary. Finalising agreements with other schools, she is determined to ignite culinary dreams across Bulawayo’s youth.

Her influence extends beyond primary education. Makaza also juggles a full-time teaching role in a hotel and catering course, offering both certificate and diploma programmes. The certificate programme condenses culinary fundamentals into a six-week intensive, with three days of classroom learning followed by two hands-on days in the kitchen each week.

The diploma programme follows a similar three-day:two-day structure but stretches over six months for a more comprehensive culinary education.

Balancing Chef Nyarie’s Place, her teaching commitments, and community initiatives takes dedication, but Makaza has a secret weapon.

Members of the Chef Nyarie’s Place

“I have people who are helping me, and those people I taught, and now they are helping me in running everything, which means I’m also creating employment in the community,” she said.

Makaza’s vision is nothing short of audacious. She envisions Chef Nyarie’s Place blossoming into a nationwide chain, while simultaneously establishing Zimbabwe’s premier events company. But her ambitions extend beyond the plate.

Determined to inspire future culinary leaders, she plans to open Bulawayo’s largest culinary arts academy, nurturing the talent that will shape tomorrow’s food scene.

The community has wholeheartedly embraced Makaza’s initiatives. Her message of self-belief and entrepreneurial spirit resonates deeply, making her a beacon of inspiration in Bulawayo.

“My goal is to empower them to be their own bosses and believe that they can still make it, with or without O-levels as long as they stay focused and be eager to learn life skills,” she said.

Beyond her current endeavours, Makaza is buzzing with excitement about upcoming workshops and short courses at her college, particularly the popular snack-making lessons where participants walk away with certificates upon completion.

For aspiring young chefs and culinary entrepreneurs yearning to carve their niche in the industry, Makaza offers this sage advice: “You’re still learning every day, and you need to research more about food and work with new trends.” — Follow on X @MbuleloMpofu



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