South Africa - Ghenwa Steingaszner
Cape Town, February 8, 2021
A tale of magic
" an enthusiastic and accomplished ambassador of the .. culinary traditions of her native land "

Ghenwa Steingaszner, born in Lebanon and now resident in South Africa, is an enthusiastic and accomplished ambassador of the rich and exciting culinary traditions of her native land.

In Ghenwa’s hometown of Aley, located in the mountains overlooking Beirut, people are known for preserving old customs and this includes living from what is grown and produced locally and saving any seasonal glut for ‘darker days’.

Today, Ghenwa is proud to share those traditions with which she grew up, alongside her knowledge and expertise through her culinary workshops.

The concept evolved from humble beginnings. In the early years of her marriage, Ghenwa and her husband, Geza, visited and fell in love with South Africa. In 1997 they purchased a house in the beautiful Erinvale Golf Estate in the middle of the winelands outside Cape Town. In 2003 they moved there permanently, with their young family.

Newly-retired Geza filled his time with his old hobby - collecting wines - whilst Ghenwa, with two children enrolled in the neighbourhood school, threw herself into local activities, which included many charity events organised by the parents.

Before long her talents in the kitchen were noticed and solicited, leading to the start of the cooking workshops. These were often followed by food and wine pairing events, co-hosted by Ghenwa and Geza with various talented local winemakers.

Ghenwa’s Culinary Club was born and its success has been driven by her love of and dedication to, the art of cooking, exemplified through her contagious enthusiasm.

Geza first joined the Chaîne in 1991 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In November 2014 Ghenwa was inducted as a professional member.

Since then, Ghenwa has demonstrated her commitment to the Chaîne as a judge in various competitions. In 2018 she hosted her first dinner for Chaîne members at the club house of the Erinvale Golf Estate, which was attended by nearly 100 members and guests.

Ghenwa’s Culinary Club is now so popular that it has had to move outside of her home. An agreement with the neighbouring Lourensford Wine Estate will see Ghenwa soon hosting workshops in a purpose built and beautifully outfitted cooking theatre, as well as seated food and wine pairing events for 50 guests. This project involves the restoration of an old building on the Lourensford Estate, the opening of which has been delayed by the pandemic.

The establishment will focus on cooking workshops, food and wine pairing events, catering and other special events, including hosting foreign chefs and wine tastings held in a well-equipped wine bar.

Whilst Geza runs the wine bar activities, Ghenwa’s informative presentations will see her sharing her in-depth knowledge of spices and their successful blending with a range of healthy Middle Eastern, North African and Mediterranean dishes with guests who are keen to learn.

Amanda Roberts
Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne

Ed. This article was first published in the 2020 edition of the Revue internationale de la Chaîne.