Born and raised from humble beginnings in Alexandra township in Johannesburg, Lorna Maseko has proved she is a woman who can wear many hats and excel in all she puts her mind to.
Being a passionate ballet dancer in South Africa – with business savvy – a talented presenter and a food lover who proudly holds the title of culinary princess with flair, Maseko is one of the many local personalities that attest that growing up in a township does not have to hinder anyone from dreaming beyond the makeshift fences.
Her culinary adventure
“My relationship with food is a very long and loving one that is full of passion,” she said, adding that she loves being able to share her passion with others and being able to teach people about food sustainability and solving hunger through the chef manifesto she is a part of.
“Being in the food industry has been the most amazing journey ever. I’m absolutely blessed to be part of it. Chefs are the new rock stars,” she added.
Maseko’s culinary adventures began when she was chosen as one of the contestants on the first Celebrity MasterChef on DStv, where her fans saw her in an entirely different light.
She made it to the top six and had the time of her life. This led to her launching her a series of cooking events and a blog called Cooking With Lorna and Friends.
Maseko was selected to host the local format of the Emmy nominated cooking competition Top Chef in 2016, a venture that encouraged her to start crafting content for her own cooking show.
She is currently the host of The Hostess With Lorna Maseko on SABC 3.
“A cookbook is any foodie’s dream. However, being the perfectionist I am, I will probably keep wanting to make it better,” said Maseko.
The cookbook will be released next year.
“I’m taking it one step at a time. It’s a lot of work, but I’m trying to be present in each moment,” she said.
For Maseko, food is about celebration and her cookbook will clearly portray this and serve as her way of engaging with people.
What 2019 holds
Maseko has the world at her feet with a promising future ahead of her. She can’t wait for 2019, explaining that she is happy with the pace of her brand and the direction it is taking.
“Plans for next year are going to be amazing. I’m a ’hood girl, even though I did ballet. The fact of the matter is that I’m still from the township and I can’t wait to inspire young girls from the ’hood, and share with them how staying true to yourself and your ambition can get you far,” she said.
Maseko is looking at expanding her brand, and badly wants to encourage a girl from Alex. “This is my heartbeat. I know it does not always have to be about money. I need them to know that they, too, can have dreams and goals.”
She has learned that it’s more about the hunger and being willing to go the extra mile.
Lunch with Lorna Maseko
The food enthusiast and presenter recently held an exclusive lunch at Mekete Boutique & Events venue in Polokwane, where guests were treated to an intimate three-course gourmet lunch, curated by Lorna, and paired with gin.
Apart from the great food, stunning drinks and some surprise celebrations leading into a star-studded after-party featuring DJ Shimz and Tbo Touch, Maseko says she just wanted to be in a beautiful space and share how vulnerable and sensitive food is with a group of people who appreciate it.
“Polokwane was amazing, as were the day’s activities, and I hope they invite me back soon,” she said.