Meet the badass female chef making waves (and pies) abroad

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Meet the badass female chef making waves (and pies) abroad

Nokuthula Majozi might not be a name you immediately recognise, but it should be. This incredible chef has not only flown the flag for South Africa all the way to the UK, but she’s also assumed the role of head pie maker at London’s Holborn Dining Room. We chatted to her about her remarkable culinary journey, her life in London and what SA dish will always have her heart.

1. Let’s start with a little introduction. Tell us about yourself, where you grew up and how you got into cooking. Was it always something you wanted to do?

My name is Nokuthula (Nokx) Majozi, the senior pie maker and sous chef at The Pie Room in Holborn Dining Room, located within the luxurious Rosewood hotel in London. I grew up in Empangeni near Richards Bay in the north of KwaZulu-Natal. My culinary journey started in the kitchen with my father when I was little. He inspired me with his unique cooking skills, creations, and combinations of flavours. I loved to experiment with him and that’s where it all began. I originally wanted to be a nutritionist rather than a chef, but both go hand in hand.

2. You have the incredible title of senior pie maker at Holborn Dining Room, how did this come about? How did you end up in London and then at Holborn Dining Room?

I support executive chef Calum Franklin (also known as The Pie King) with his vision in creating pies and savoury delicacies by managing The Pie Room, hence the senior pie maker title – we make over 300 pies per day so I feel like I’m quite the expert now. My journey in London began in 2004 when I worked my way up in the kitchen within five-star luxury London hotels, following a stint in the USA representing the South African culinary team. I began my journey in Holborn Dining Room in 2014 where I met my mentor Calum and have been here ever since.


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A post shared by Nokx (@nokxmajozi)

3. Tell us your role as senior pie maker. What does this entail? What does a regular day look like for you?

I oversee a team of four chefs in The Pie Room kitchen where we make delicious pies and savoury dishes for the restaurant and to take away through a hatch called The Pie Hole. I am always hands-on with the team from rolling out pastry, creating unique designs and building extravagant pies. The Pie Room is also a private dining room in the evening; it’s a beautiful setting for up to 10 people. The favourite part of my role is the masterclasses that we host. Guests can learn how to make beef Wellington and pork pies in an immersive masterclass. We also host children’s versions of the class for all the budding little chefs out there.

4. Can you tell us about the pies? What makes them so special?

The pies we make are works of art with intricate designs and they’re all completely hand made. We specialise in savoury pies with incredible pastry creation and lots of attention to detail. My favourites have to be the potato, Comté and caramelised onion pie, the classic pork pies are a must-try and, of course, our first ever pie on the menu, the curried mutton with mango salsa, which is just delicious.

5 .How are you enjoying life in London? Would you ever consider a move back home?

I love London. It’s a beautiful city with lot of opportunities, culture, incredible landmarks and plenty of world cuisines. It is a pot full of honey. South Africa will always be my home and I definitely want to move back in the future when the time is right.

6. What’s your favourite local dish? Something you crave when you’re away from home?

It has to be braai and shisa nyama with chakalaka and pap!


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A post shared by Nokx (@nokxmajozi)

7. What advice would you have for someone looking to get to your level?

You must always be passionate, willing to learn, a hard worker and aim high.

Keep up with Nokx by following her on Instagram.

Jess Spiro Article by: Jess Spiro

Jess Spiro is a freelance food writer, chef and restaurant critic based in Cape Town, who can often be found in search of the next great plate of food. Follow her on Instagram @jess_spiro to see what she's eating.

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