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Emperors Palace helps Asi realise his dream

For over 35 years, the Reach for a Dream Foundation has helped hundreds of children fighting life-threatening illnesses realize their dreams.

On Friday, May 17, it was 15-year-old Asi Matshalilanga’s turn to live out his dream of owning Xbox Series X controllers. Asi is a brave young boy who was recently diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

He is currently in Grade 10 and, before his diagnosis, loved playing cricket, soccer, and rugby. In addition to his love of sports, his favourite subject is Consumer Studies.

Asi loves cooking, and it is what he enjoys doing the most when he is at home. When he grows up, he would like to be a chef, as he enjoys cooking.

Emperors Palace’s Commi Chef Khanyi Hadebe of Katlehong helps 15-year-old Asi Matshalilanga plate the chicken stir fry the aspiring young chef made during a visit to Emperors Palace’s Rosetta’s Bistro on Friday, May 17. Asi was at the Palace of Dreams thanks to the East Rand resort and casino and the Reach for a Dream Foundation. which was helping Asi realize his wish of becoming a chef. (Photograph by Yolanda van der Stoep).

To make his dream an unforgettable experience, Reach for a Dream, in conjunction with Emperors Palace, invited Asi to don an apron and spend time in the Rosetta’s Bistro kitchen.

With the help of the Palace of Dreams’ Sous Chef Jerry Chauke and Commi Chefs Makoma Letsie and Khanyi Hadebe, Asi quickly started making pizzas, trifle, and even chicken stir fry, which he enjoyed with his family and the chefs.

When quizzed on what he enjoyed the most about his visit to the Palace of Dreams, the young dreamer said making the pizzas, especially the first one, which had his favourite toppings: plenty of cheese, chicken, and mushrooms.

The proof they say is in the pudding and 15-year-old Asi Matshalilanga literally had the chance to taste the pudding he made on his dream day on Friday (May 17) with Emperors Palace’s Rosetta’s Bistro and Reach For A Dream. Here Asi tucks into the trifle he made and is joined by complex Sous Chef Jerry Chauke. (Photograph by Yolanda van der Stoep).

He believes that pineapple and banana don’t belong on a pizza, so he wasn’t a big fan of the vegetarian pizza he made second, which had pineapple on it. He also enjoyed making and eating the trifle. The proof of what he learned was definitely in the pudding!

The day ended with the reveal of Asi’s dream: Xbox Series X controllers. Asi couldn’t believe his dream came true.

Not only did he spend the day immersed in his passion for cooking, but Emperors Palace and Reach for a Dream made his dream come true, giving him hope that tomorrow is worth fighting for.

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