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Meet South African Chef Kamini Pather

LivingBiographyMeet South African Chef Kamini Pather

Kamini Pather is a South African chef, food blogger, and television and radio presenter. In 2013, she won the second season of MasterChef South Africa and hosted the cuisine travel show Girl Eat World.

Kamini Pather’s Early Life

Kamini Pather, the 38-year-old South African Chef and television personality, grew up surrounded by the sights, sounds, and aromas of home cooking in Durban’s Glenwood neighborhood.

Born on April 20, 1983, to parents Rajen and Anitha Pather, Kamini was exposed at a young age to her mother and grandmother’s Indian cuisine. She fondly recalls cooking up Sunday morning breakfast with her father as he washed cars and her mother and brother prepared the food.

Kamini Pather Mother and Grand Mother
Image: Kamini Pather (Middle) with her mom, Anitha (Left), and grandmother Savy (Right) (Source: Kamini’s Facebook)

Pather, her mother Anitha, and grandmother Savy were featured in the 2013 book “Confessions of a Hungry Woman” by Sam Woulidge. The book captured the three generations of women cooking up an Indian feast including vegetable Bhajias, Prawn Pilau, Raita, Cucumber salad, and Cardamom Pistachio Kulfi.

Kamini’s Bond with Her Father

While Kamini Pather pursued a career far different than her father’s, she shared a special connection with him rooted in their mutual love of food.

Rajen Pather grew up as the oldest of four children, raised by Kamini’s jeweler grandfather and stay-at-home grandmother. Known as an unruly, hyperactive child, Rajen grew up to work tirelessly to provide Kamini opportunities he never had himself.

Because of his hyperactive behavior whenever she introduced her father to a new friend, she said “I love him but he is a strange man”.

As Kamini admits, her media career meant she inhabited a vastly different world from the one her father knew. But through simple Sunday breakfasts washing cars or in knowing his food preferences by heart, she formed an unspoken bond with him defined by “acts of service.”

Kamini Pather Father Rajen Pather
Image: Kamini Pather and Rajen Pather (Source: Kamini Pather/DailyMaverick.za)

When Rajen passed away unexpectedly on September 22, 2021, middle-aged Kamini was struck by how his difficult upbringing shaped the work ethic she inherited. And she continues to feel connected to him when preparing their shared favorite meals – simple gestures that mean more than words can say.

In the wake of my father’s passing, I am reminded of his meagre beginnings. I am reminded of how hard he worked to give me the life that I have and the opportunities that have shaped my world view. He didn’t understand me sometimes because the world that he grew up in and my world were so different but the fact that we shared a similar palate – I always knew what he would like on a menu – made us close in ways that cannot be expressed. The connection was never about words; it was always about acts of service. 

She said

Kamini Education

She attended Durban Girls’ College before graduating from the University of KwaZulu-Natal with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Management.

Also Read: Culinary Artist Rie McClenny, Her Career & moment with Husband and Son

She has a diploma from the Red and Yellow Creative School of Business and a yoga certification.

Kamini Pather Career

Early Career

Even as a young girl, Kamini Pather is interested in cooking and trying complex egg dishes and other recipes.

On Pather’s popular food blog “Deelishuss,” launched in 2008, she often references the cooking wisdom imparted by her mother Anitha, and grandmother “Ma.” In one post about Ma’s chicken biryani recipe, Kamini admiringly recalls her grandmother’s artistic knifework honed from years in the kitchen.

Kamini Pather Parents
Image: Kamini Pather (left) with her mom, Anitha, and grandmother Savy at her mother’s Glenwood home (Source: Sam Woulidge)

“As a child, Ma would always amaze me with her knife skills. She would be able to peel the jacket off any fruit or vegetable in one delicate spiral and carve out cores and foreign bits in near-artistic form.

She said

To this day, Kamini credits her mother and grandmother as her most enduring inspirations not just for recipes but for their joyful, dedicated approach to food.

Kamini Pather MasterChef Fame and Multimedia Food Career

Before MasterChef South Africa’s 2013 season, Kamini Pather laid the groundwork by launching her food blog “Deelishuss” in 2008. She quickly built an audience for her recipes and musings about food as she took on media roles with Aficionado, CRUSH online food magazine, and as an assistant to celebrity chef Siba Mtongana.

Pather’s big break came in 2013 when she won Season 2 of competitive cooking show MasterChef South Africa.

On the heels of her MasterChef victory, Pather hosted the food travel show “Girl Eat World” in 2014, chronicling her culinary adventures across 10 cities and 9 weeks of filming. She also became a guest judge on “Top Chef South Africa” and made radio appearances.

Pather also launched her own kitchenware line “Kitchen Kulture” in 2017 and delivered plant-based meals through “Füdy” starting in 2018. She checked another box by publishing the e-cookbook “Eat Glocal” focused on Indian South African cuisine in 2021.

“She set some running goals for 2024. Now she just needs to reinvent her nutrition game and all are set! The lean protein and veg saga of 2023 was getting old. But it was a hectic end of year and we all get into that eat-so-you-don’t-die place, don’t we? Anyway, let’s go: new year, new meals. HIGH5!!”

She posted on her Instagram

Regarding her working life, she is also active on many social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. She has 15.6k followers on her Twitter account and 36.3k followers on her Instagram account. She has 235 subscribers on her YouTube channel.

Kamini Pather Hobbies and Passions

When she’s not working Kamini Pather takes the Cape Town lifestyle fully. She enjoys practicing yoga, meeting up with friends for food and wine, and indulging her passion for fashion along the way.

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She continues to mix travel and food as a self-described “travel fanatic” by aiming to taste the cuisine of all 196 countries worldwide. Though she has already adventured across 23 fascinating destinations.

“There are 196 countries and I have only visited 23. I certainly have my itinerary cut out and joyfully so!”

She said:

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