Featured Chef - Wander Bester


Wander Bester
Schoone Oordt Country House



Born and raised in the Free State, one of Chef Wander’s first childhood memories was baking in his mom’s kitchen, and at an early age he proclaimed to his family “I am going to bake cakes one day”. School holidays were experimental times and he can remember his dad coming home from work, wanting to know what had been baked, how high the electricity bill was and whether the dishes had been washed properly. He graduated from his mom’s kitchen to the Bloemfontein Hotel School where he obtained his Diploma in Hospitality Management specialising in cooking and then trained in some of the country’s finest kitchens. Chef Wander says that food is one of the most honest and true things in the world, and he strives to keep it so when cooking. His fondest food memories include his first day in cookery class where he experienced the melting magic taste of beef tartare, having only ever been introduced to meat cooked “very well done” whilst growing up…  It resembled slightly Remy’s food epiphany at tasting real food for the first time in the Disney movie “Ratatouille”. Another fond food memory is working in the remote Kalahari desert, foraging, cooking and occasionally tasting nxaba’s! (Kalahari truffles) whilst his most recent defining moment was actually meeting, chatting and sharing a beer with renowned chef Richard Carstens of Tokara Restaurant in Stellenbosch.