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Zola Nene

Chef Zola Nene's culinary career spans over 10 years, and started during her 2 year study gap in the UK. She started out as a hot section chef, then as a head pastry chef in Cheshire during her stint, before returning home to South Africa, where she immediately enrolled at the Institution of Culinary Arts. She has worked as a catering manager, and as a Food stylist on Expresso Morning Show, and has also worked as the resident Chef both on and off air until December 2017. In 2019, Chef Zola's cooking show called "Celeb Feasts with Zola" debuted, and she also appeared as a judge on The Great South African Bake Off, a guest finale judge on My Kitchen Rules South Africa and the Cast of Wedding Bashers.

Apart from cooking on TV, Chef Zola also develops recipes and does food styling for publications, and has her own published, award-winning cookbooks 'Simply Delicious' (2016) and 'Simply Zola' (2018.) In this Masterclass series, Chef Zola will be showcasing authentic and traditional South African dishes.

Video Description

South Africa is known for its diversity in culture, and the cuisine that takes its influence from these many cultures. Zola Nene is a South African chef, TV personality and author who's passion is South African cooking.

Join Chef Zola in this online cooking masterclass as she makes traditional, authentic South African dishes.

In this episode of Authentic South African Cooking allow Zola to teach you how to make Cheesy Pap Bites. Pap is a traditional polenta/porridge which is a staple food in many South African households.

These bites are a fantastic appetizer when looking for something original for entertaining.


1.25 litres of water

5ml salt

30ml butter

375ml mealie meal

125ml grated parmesan cheese

250ml grated mature cheddar

250ml cake flour

2 eggs, beaten

500ml panko breadcrumbs

Oil for frying


Combine the water, salt and butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Sprinkle in the mealie meal, while stirring with a wooden spoon, then turn the heat down to low and cover the saucepan. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring every five minutes.

Mix the parmesan and cheddar cheese into the pap, then spread out in a baking tray to cool. Once cool, take spoonfuls of the pap and shape into circles in the palm of your hand.

Dip the balls into the flour, followed by the beaten egg and finally into the breadcrumbs. Deep-fry until golden-brown.

Drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

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