Lesego Semenya profile
All you need to know about Lesego Semenya a judge on Top Chef SA
Lesego Semenya is a former process engineer and corporate workhorse, turned entrepreneur and fully qualified international fine dining chef. He is now a private caterer, a businessman developing a line in kitchen accessories, a TV favourite and a social media sensation, tweeting hot cooking tips.
Soweto-born Lesego was once contemplating a career in marketing, and now uses those skills to promote his brand, LesDaChef which celebrates gourmet food without the usual snobbery. He qualified from the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy with a Grande Diploma in Food and Wine and five other international diplomas in wine and patisserie which landed him a job at Johannesburg’s Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff.
Before launching his business, Lesego also had stints at a Michelin star restaurant in London and at Richard Branson’s game reserve in Sabi Sands.
Lesego made the M&G’s Top 200 Young South Africans list last year and he’s certainly lived up to the title. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and is painfully honest when it comes to his culinary critiquing, essential ingredients for a Top Chef Judge.
Asian style Oxtail
30g star anise
200g lemon grass (crushed)
250ml veg oil
500ml rice wine (if you can’t find any then vodka will do)
2litre beef stock
250ml soy sauce
250g brown treacle sugar
500g shiitake mushrooms (if you can’t find any brown mushrooms will do)
200g lime zest
1. Heat a deep pot and pour the oil into it. Once hot throw in the oxtail
2. Add the rice wine and allow it to simmer for a few minutes in order to burn off the alcohol. Wait until it reduces to a thick syrup
3. Throw in the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients besides the stock. Stir in with the meat and allow to brown a bit
4. Pour in the stock and reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 3 hours. With a ladle scoop off the fat and scum that will bubble to the surface every half hour.
If the stock reduces too much add more stock.
Tip: I’ve found that this recipe tastes better the next day after it has rested in a fridge. If you’re not in a rush to jump in, i recommend you store in for a day before its served.
I served it with wholewheat ledombolo in the picture.