15 September 2020
Ntlalo Jordan loves people. The Johannesburg-born chef has travelled the world, cooking in Five Star hotels in Dubai, Liberia and Sudan. But it’s in Cape Town where he cut his culinary teeth.
I was born in Johannesburg, but I am Langa-bred. I love my community and I love my city.
On the day of the interview, the 35-year-old executive chef is preparing to host a children’s party at his Washington Street restaurant, aptly named Jordan Ways of Cooking.
“I prepare dishes my way, inspired by some of the best chefs and menus in the world,” says Jordan, who ascribes his love for cooking to his home economics teacher.
“This passion started in the home economics classroom at Khulani High School, here in Langa. We were required to cook various dishes and I just fell in love with the process. It became my favourite subject. After school, I ended up being the assistant chef to my grandmother. I really admired here. With few ingredients, she could feed a family of 13. She was one of the people who inspired me to embark on this journey.”
After finishing high school in 2005, Jordan perfected his cooking skill at the Eziko Culinary School.
“It was at Eziko that chef Peter Robertson, the executive chef at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, noticed my potential. I was afforded an opportunity, and from there my career just took off. I worked at some the city’s top hotels and kitchens before going abroad, such as the CTICC, Mandela Rhodes Place, Taj Hotels and Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa.”
Upon his return to South Africa in 2018, Jordan says he realised that it was time to bring his expertise home to Langa.
“Langa is tourist destination in the heart of Cape Town. I saw an opportunity not only to offer my community world-class cuisine, but also to bring people from various parts of the city, the country and the world to Langa – where they could eat together, share stories and become friends. I’ve seen this materialise over the last two years. People of all races, cultures and nationalities come here as tourists or individuals and leave as friends.”
Previously a shack, the Jordan Ways of Cooking restaurant, located at 365 Washington Street, is a trendy establishment.
“We’ve transformed this place from a shack into what it is today – a restaurant that has hosted some of the top celebrities in our country and on the continent,” says Jordan. “We also regularly host international visitors from countries such as the United States, the UK and Australia.”
The most popular meal on the menu is Jordan’s meat platter comprising of beef, lamb, chicken, boerewors, chakalaka and a side of your choice. “It’s a hit, and so are our burgers – people love it.”
Watch Cape Town Tourism’s Langa Neighbourhood Video