SPECIAL TRIBUTE Farewell, chef
Woolworths TASTE|September/October 2021
Lesego Semenya, a.k.a. Les Da Chef, cookbook author, television presenter, TASTE columnist and beloved TASTETube host, passed away in July, after contracting Covid-19. He was just 39
Lesego Semenya

Born and raised in Soweto, Lesego Semenya started out as a process engineer before pursuing his dream of cooking. After studying at Prue Leith Chef’s Academy in Centurion, he went on to work in professional kitchens, including Richard Branson’s Sabi Sands. He appeared on several TV shows, including Top Chef South Africa and most recently, DStv’s Celebrity Mystery Box. He authored the best-selling cookbook Dijo and was perhaps best known for his recipes championing heritage ingredients. Since lockdown 2020 he had been producing monthly recipe videos for TASTETube.

THE TASTE TEAM REMEMBERS OUR COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND

Abigail Donnelly

Food director

“Over Easter, Lesego cooked with Anele in a TV show for Woolies, and both their larger-than-life personalities had the crew in hysterics as they cooked gourmet boerie rolls and chocolate marshmallow Easter egg jaffles. Lesego was funny, generous, sincere and kind and I will treasure all his recipes always. I’m so grateful that I had the privilege of working with him.”

Hannah Lewry

Contributing food editor

“It was an absolute privilege and honour to work with Lesego. His hand-crushed chimichurri is one of my favourite recipes, every time I make it I will think of him! What a titan among men!”

Mogau Seshoene

Best-selling author, chef and TASTE contributor

“Lesego was always such a consummate professional, a dedicated and talented chef, what an absolute pleasure he was to work with. Always ready to help, always such a gentleman. What a loss to our industry.”

Katharine Pope

Head of digital content

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