Ten Minutes With Kim Napo; Private Chef And Owner Of Gourmet Moods®

 

Every once in a while, I come across people who are doing amazing things in the space they are in.  The best thing we can do is to encourage them to keep going and give them support.  Such person is Chef Kim Napo of Gourmet Moods®.  I love her style of cooking, food philosophy, resilience and creativity.   Her story embodies evolution, finding new meaning and purpose in life.  Hope you get inspired.  Get to know Kim Napo below:

Please tell us about Kim, who is she? where was she born and what are her interests?

I am the owner and founder of Gourmet Moods®, a company that provides private and personal chef service and one-on-one cooking lessons.  I am also the creator of a range of food products and the designer of a range of chef jackets for women and a motivational speaker.  Most importantly I am a 46-year-old who is continuously challenging herself and pushing the limits.

My interests are varied – I’m an information sponge and I love reading. . . for fun, for motivation and for work, writing, travelling, photography and anything food related, of course.

I was born in Soweto in 1971 and raised in Sebokeng, in the Vaal.  I hold a BA degree in International Relations and after working as a communication strategist for over 15 years I decided to swap my laptop for pots and knives and trained as a chef.

 

Where did you get your Chef training?

At Capsicum Culinary Studio, Sunninghill campus.

 

Tell us about the Gourmet Moods® concept? When did you start it?

The idea of Gourmet Moods® came about in 2013 but the concept was only solidified in 2016 when I decided that I wanted to offer people a personalised chef service in the privacy of their homes. Being a private chef gives an opportunity to be creative and forces me to keep ahead of the trends and never stop coming up with new ways and recipes that will keep my clients excited about my food.

On your Instagram page, you post dishes with lots of fresh ingredients.  Tell us more about the inspiration behind your cooking. 

I need to know what I’m eating and where my food originates from – is it from a laboratory or the soil –  as a result, I am a big label reader.  If I cannot pronounce it, I will not eat it, if it doesn’t occur naturally in nature I will not eat it or serve it to my clients. My style of cooking is really simple, I cook food to enhance it and present it in the best light possible. I use mainly herbs to flavour my food and I prefer making my own sauces and dressings with yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil and raw honey and this helps me monitor the amount of salt I use.

 

Please tell us about your Gourmet Moods® food product line?

Our product line was created out of my own personal need. For a long time, I struggled with the brands of granola that are on the market because I found them too sweet, so I started making my own at home and friends convinced me to make more granola and sell it to them.  The granola is handcrafted using the freshest ingredients and produce sourced locally – e.g. our raw honey is sourced from Native Nosi. We don’t keep stock and our granola is made to order and this ensures that our product is as fresh as can be.

We currently have four healthy and tasty variants, with one new variant in the pipeline.

Our variants are:

  • Classic Granola – R140.00
  • No-Sugar Granola – R155.00 (this is a great choice for diabetics and is sweetened with applesauce that we make ourselves using apples and nothing else)
  • No-Grain Granola – R179.00 (this has no oats and is great for gluten intolerant people who don’t want to take a chance with oats)
  • Superfood Granola – R180.00

They come in reusable glass jars and are 410g. We decided to go with glass instead of plastic because we wanted to use packaging that is reusable, recyclable and eco-friendly. In June we will be introducing a 1.7kg glass jar.

There is also a range of handcrafted made to order spices.

 

You recently launched your line of aprons tailored to suit a female form.  Tell us more about the thinking behind that.  

In 2016 I went shopping for a chef jacket and I was looking for chef jackets specifically for women and finding one was a real struggle. The majority of chef jackets out there are unisex and not gender specific i.e. they are not made to accommodate the female form. So I decided to design chef jackets for women because I knew that my frustrations were not unique and that there are female chefs out there looking for figure flattering and trendy jackets.

The Gourmet Moods® range of female chef jackets currently comes in two designs and there are three types of materials to choose from – two types of denim and white cotton twirl.  The price ranges from R900.00 to R1 500.00 and the prices are dependent on how much you want to us customize it for you. The customisation ranges from us measuring you to ensure a perfect fit, to changing the colour of contrast stitching and the colour of the fabric lining the inside of the jackets. We are planning on launching more designs before  the end of July.

Who can buy the aprons?

Although the jackets were made specifically for chefs, we have had people who are not chefs placing orders because the designs and materials used are so trendy, especially the denim.

 

How can people buy your products?

The granola is available on our online store.   For the jackets please drop us an email on hello@gourmetmoods.co.za or call us on 0799024828.

 

If you were to give advice to young and upcoming foodies, what would it be?

The world of food is so big and so exciting, there is always something new to learn. Learn as much as you can about food and find a style that is uniquely yours and create your own lane. But most importantly respect your craft, love what you and do it with love and whoever you are cooking for will love your food.

 

For more info, visit: gourmetfoods.com

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Author Info

Thuli

Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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