“Sparrow changed my life,” says 25-year-old Sparrow graduate and chef, Tshepo Mbeazi. We were lucky enough to sit down with this aspiring young restaurateur while he was in South Africa on a two-month break, after working on a cruise ship for the past few months.
Tshepo graduated from Sparrow FET College with a Professional Cookery Learnership in 2017, after completing his studies on a Nedbank and Wilmar Fats and Oils-sponsored bursary.
Mastering the craft of cooking seems like it came naturally to Tshepo, who did his practical training at the Sandton Sun Hotel after attaining his NQF Level 4 qualification from Sparrow FET College. Here, Tshepo didn’t rest on his laurels, entering the Chef of the Year competition as a junior chef at the Sandton Sun Hotel. Tshepo was named one of the top 6 finalists in Gauteng, and this taste of success inspired him to apply for a chef position on the cruise ship Norwegian Gateway.
On the ship, Tshepo, along with the other chefs on the ship, was tasked with taking care of the culinary needs of between 4,000 and 5,000 passengers. The Norwegian Gateway started its journey across the ocean in Miami in the US, heading towards Europe, where Tshepo was able to visit Spain, Italy and Greece. Tshepo admits the hours were long but maintains it was all worth it, saying it was “amazing to travel the world”.
Tshepo plans to travel for five more years before returning to his homeland to open a fine dining restaurant of his own – he plans to simply call it FINE.
Loving what you do is paramount for Tshepo, who says, “you must have a passion and love for what you’re going to do”, before deciding on a career. However, Tshepo believes that passion alone is not enough.
“Anything is possible when you believe in yourself and work hard,” says this proud product of Sparrow FET College, adding, “Attitude is the most important quality to achieve success”.
Tshepo, we delight in your continued success, and are excited about what the future holds. With your insatiable appetite for triumph, we are already smacking our lips in anticipation of our first dining experience at FINE.