Heading up the kitchen at Waterside Lodge - Patience Nkwane

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At the Thornybush Collection, all our staff are committed to providing the utmost in luxury South African safaris and our chefs never fail to make an impression on even the most discerning palate.


Head chef at Waterside Lodge, Patience Nkwane appeals to more than just the sense of taste though. Her bubbly personality is just as divine as her dishes and although she runs a tight ship, she manages to infuse love and fun into every task.

Starting out

Patience grew up in the mining town of Rustenburg, located in the North West Province, about 600km from Thornybush Private Nature Reserve. With a pastor for a father and an uncle who is an esteemed social worker, everyone assumed that her kind-hearted personality would lead her to a career along the same lines, but Patience had other plans.

Getting qualified

Her passion for food and cooking was ignited by Home Economics at school and after matriculating from Sekele IV High School she enrolled in every cookery correspondence course that she could. Enthused by the courses, Patience was thrilled to land a job at a restaurant in her home town and enrolled for her Professional Chefs Diploma through Damelin College.

Thriving on the challenge, she applied herself diligently to her studies and graduated with a thorough knowledge of Professional Cookery, Kitchen Hygiene and Safety, Cookery Theory and Kitchen Management.

Into the wilderness

Now armed with an official certification, Patience applied for and got a job at a prestigious lodge in a nearby game reserve. Here she worked in the position of commis chef, learning more about food preparation and rotating through the different sections of the kitchen every six months for 4 years.

Her dedication paid off, and combined with her leadership skills, earning her the job as Assistant Sous Chef at Jaci's Safari Tree Lodge. Operating as the right-hand of the executive chef, Patience learnt many of the skills which serve her so well in the luxuriously exclusive environment of Thornybush.

During her 5 year tenure at Jaci's, she gained valuable experience in surpassing the expectations of her guests as well as overseeing the smooth operation of a busy lodge kitchen and was promoted to head chef at Royal Madikwe.

Welcome aboard

When an opening for Head Chef at Thornybush Collection's Waterside Lodge became available we snatched up the chance to welcome Patience on board, and she has been delighting our guests and our staff alike since 2012.

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Saturday, 16 December 2017