Legendary food writer and recipe designer Dorah Sitole continues to inspire new names in the culinary scene with her immense contribution to South Africa’s food-loving community.

Dorah Sitole is a legendary name in South Africa’s food-loving community, having authored several prominent cookbooks, lent her name to many dishes, and has inspired thousands of chefs to take to developing their own recipes.

Dorah Sitole preparing her ingredients and spices for her fish curry.

“My very first (book) was Recipes with a touch of Africa, I actually love it because it has very simple recipes,” Dorah remembers fondly. “I think my cooking style is quite simple and down to earth, and I always lean to African-style food, and my food is more rustic than fine dining; I love food that is full of flavour.”

Dorah’s career started in Market Research Africa, whereafter 7 years later she joined The Canned Food Advisory Service as a Home Economist. From here, Dorah’s love and passion for cooking became a career. Later, Dorah joined True Love Magazine as Food Editor and was promoted within 3 months to co-editor, and continued to contribute to the lifestyle and food sections of the magazine for 21 years.

From there, Dorah’s career has continued to reach new heights – having served as the Editor of True Love Magazine, and as the Head of the Books Division for Media 24’s Developing Markets Division. Dorah has since penned an impressive three cookbooks in-between achieving numerous awards for contribution to the food industry.

Today, Dorah describes herself as a freelance writer, food stylist, and recipe developer – having been in food for over 40 years.

In need of some hearty, dinner inspiration? Try Dorah’s East African fish curry.

Dorah's recipes marry influences from across the world and bring them together to make truly spectacular dishes.

Dorah’s love of food and her talents in the culinary arts have also shaped her family.

“Food is a very big feature in our family,” says Dorah’s daughter, Ayanda Sitole. “It brings us together, we also like going out together and exploring different restaurants – it’s an opportunity for us to get to know each other and connect”.

For many in the food industry, Dorah has been a lighthouse of inspiration who has paved the way for countless food lovers, writers, recipe designers and stylists.

The perfect side dish awaits with Dorah’s Roasted Mixed Pumpkins.

Ma'm Sitole was joined by some of South Africa's finest in the food industry for a festive feast.

“She’s taught me everything we know – everything we know about the food industry, we’ve learned from her”, says chef Tebo Ndala – to which Lebo adds “We definitely think she’s a legend in the industry – she has paved the way for all of us young chefs, and Black chefs as well.”

“It started over 20 years ago,” Chef Mokgadi Itsweng, food entrepreneur, recalls. “She’s been my mentor, she’s been my mom – her guidance has opened doors for me. The impact that she has had has been incredible – without Dorah kicking the door in for all of us, none of us would be here…. I don’t know of a single chef or food lover who hasn’t been touched by Dorah.”

No dining experience is complete without a decadent dessert. Try Dorah’s Cape Brandy Pudding or Tipsy Tart, as it is commonly known.

Dorah was joined by an array of guests including her daughter Nonhlanhla, her daughter-in-law Ayanda, celebrated chef and business woman Mokgadi Itsweng and, foodie twins Lebo and Tebo.

Dorah’s work continues to define food circles in South Africa, and her name is still the defining standard of contribution and merit in the South African culinary scene.