Hazel Khumalo is SA’s Kitchen Queen
Hazel Khumalo from Soweto won the 2014 title of SA Kitchen Queen and a fully equipped state-of the art mobile kitchen.
Kitchen Queens is a reality TV series featuring six women who were nominated by members of their community for their dedication and commitment to their communities.
The grand finale of the reality series was held on Sunday and the contestants and viewers voted for the winner.
The 36-year-old mother of three competed against five other Kitchen Queens who also have a passion for cooking: Manini Monato from Mpumalanga, Zama Thethele from KwaZulu-Natal, Windsor Ramokolo from Gauteng, Nokuthula Khumalo from Gauteng and Aurriender Belewa from the Eastern Cape.
The Queens were supported by celebrity mentors who briefed them on tasks and offered advice on how to handle different challenges.
An excited Hazel says “never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d win. I’m so excited to start my own catering company now that I’ve won the mobile kitchen."
“The show has changed my life a lot. I’m able to afford my own business now and I can also change other people’s lives in my community.”
After a grueling 11 weeks of challenges Hazel says her journey on the show wasn’t smooth sailing. “It was difficult, sometimes we received 3-day tasks and it wasn’t always easy to get people to co-operate and to organise things.”
A moment that she will always remember was when she had to arrange an event for the elders. “Those are the people who are close to my heart, and I was very happy to do that. And that’s when I cried tears of joy.”
Hazel’s love for cooking started at an early age and over the years she has worked at various restaurants. She’s also a caregiver at the Tsogang Sechaba Community Centre which feeds approximately 1 000 children on a monthly basis.