Chef Kaylin chases her culinary dreams

Kaylin Kammies, 23, from Bonteheuwel.

Kaylin Kammies from Bonteheuwel has always dreamed of cooking in a five-star establishment, and now she is doing just that in America, and she is one step closer to opening her own restaurant.

The 23-year-old and her older brother were raised by their grandmother while their parents went to work. She attended Garlandale Primary School in Athlone and Rhodes High School in Mowbray where she matriculated in 2015.

In 2016, she enrolled at the Capsicum Culinary Studio Cape Town campus where she studied food preparation and cooking hot and cold foods.

She has worked at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Fire and Ice Hotel, The Greenhouse and The One and Only, alongside some of the country’s best chefs.

In October 2018, she left South Africa and is now working at the five-star Hunters Run Country Club in Florida.

“I always had my heart set out on a study path towards the arts and graphic design world, but I quickly realised that I wanted something different for myself, and that ‘something different’ was to become a chef. I’ve had the passion for cooking for as long I can remember.”

To thrive in such a demanding industry, she says, you have to have a passion for food and the hospitality industry, be willing to sacrifice your personal life, work long hard hours and give your best.

Kaylin says the biggest motivators in her life are her family and all the chefs she has worked with. She also follows Gordan Ramsay, Aaron Sanchez and Wolfgang Puck.

“They are the godfathers of the industry and they were the first chefs I came across and started to follow.”

If you want a career in the hospitality industry you should seize all the opportunities that come your way, she says. “Dream and achieve.”

She says her best food memory is of the authentic traditional Mexican food she had in Cape Town. “The different levels of flavour were just mind blowing.”

The three latest food trends, she says, are mocktails, plant-based proteins and kombucha beers.

In her spare time and for some food inspiration she watches MasterChef, Ironchef and Chef’s Table.

“For as long as I can, I will continue to travel the world and keep on learning. In five years time, I would love to open my first restaurant; a bit on the bistro style with my own twist added to it.”

Although she makes food for a living, she still cooks at home all the time and likes to make ramen bowls from scratch, nacho parcels with a twist and fresh pasta dishes.

Three things that can always be found her fridge or pantry are smoked paprika, fresh coriander and flour.