Meet: Head Chef Vuyo Ngcayi

Head Chef of Majeka Kitchen Vuyo has worked her way up to the head chef position after 8 years of hard work at Majeka House, training under top chefs Tanja Kruger and Lucas Carstens. Mom herself to 18-year-old Ayanda.

Vuyo was one of 6 kids. “Sadly both my parents passed on, so they can’t see what I have become a proud African girl child who raises my head high,” she shares. “I’ve worked hard to achieve what I want and dreamed of.

Earlier training includes the South African Chefs Academy in 2008 as well as an internship was done at the Mount Nelson Hotel.

When did you first know you wanted a career in food?
My interest was sparked when I was worked at the Mount Nelson Hotel as part time  cleaner in 2005. I always looked at the chefs when they made food and this stirred something in me.

Tell us about your favourite childhood dish? Any memories stand out?
Stampmielies, also called umngqusho and braai meat, we call it umbengo – to both be enjoyed every Saturday at home

What does it mean to you to have worked your way up into the position of head chef?
It’s a great achievement to have made it this far, and knowing that Karine and Lloyd can see my passion and hard work through all these years. It’s true that working hard produces great results.

Tell us more about your journey at Majeka House  – any memories stand out?
I joined Majeka house under the wing of Tanya Kruger who was the head chef. We started at Majeka together –  from a restaurant in the Banhoek valley. When I started working at Majeka I was a chef de partie and I soon got promoted as chef tournant in 2014, a position I held up to 2017 when I got promoted as junior sous chef, then as sous. During the corona pandemic lockdown I was officially appointed as head chef.

It’s never a dull moment when we are busy and running around the kitchen!


What can diners look forward to in the restaurant this summer?
They can expect beautifully presented, super fresh and delicious food celebrating local Stellenbosch produce. All of our food is made with love and we take pride in maintaining the high standard our guests are accustomed to.

Describe yourself in three words…
Determined, dedicated and enthusiastic.