Chef’s Bio

Born in Britain, and raised in Cape Town, Joanne has divided her time between Europe and South Africa since 2003.


The Food Crew is Joanne’s freelance private chef service – cooking seasonal produce in a family friendly style for locals and visitors to the Cape.  She also does corporate catering and delivery of cooked meals and gourmet food hampers. 


In her own words:

What’s your most embarrassing moment?  My life is a series of embarrassing moments as I am always putting my foot in it!!  One moment that stands out from the rest is icing a cake at the client’s house just before a function – I was using chocolate ganache, I hadn’t left it to cool long enough, and the ganache literally poured on to the stainless steel work top!  Luckily it was super clean and I salvaged the ganache.  Since then I have taken lessons in cake decorating, but I only tackle the basic cakes and order more elaborate cakes from the experts for special ocassions.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?  “Let Go and Let God”

What’s your secret indulgence?  Nutella!  But I’m working on it!!

Who has influenced you most?  I was very lucky to do my industry training in Cape Town with Great Cooks – a fabulous catering company who generously shared their knowledge with me and cooked the kind of food I like: honest and delicious.  A while later I worked for a large catering operation and was taught excellent organisational and administration skills and plating techniques by the chef owner – we also deboned whole lambs.  Many years ago I met a chef in France, Anne Ager, who I did a one day cooking course with.  Her food and life philosophy has stayed with me since that time.

What’s a typical Sunday morning like for you?  Sundays are the one day I get to sleep later than 5am!  At the moment, Sunday mornings are filled with children’s DVDs – first to get a little extra sleep, and then to prepare an interesting omelette to share with my 4 year old son.


My search for the sun in the Northern Hemisphere took me to the Spanish island of Mallorca in 2004, where I began working on yachts as a stewardess/cook. In 2007 a chef job on a 32m Sunseeker motor yacht was the deciding factor to gain a formal chef qualification and pursue a culinary career. I passed the City and Guild’s One Year Professional Chef Diploma with distinction, at Capsicum Culinary Studio in 2008, and have gained excellent experience in catering and private chef work in Cape Town. This has led to chef consulting work; training staff and menu revision.