For youth.
With youth.
By youth.
Empowering youth to change their futures.
Foodie passion in the Mother City.

This is
our vision

  • Social Impact: Designed to empower talented youth from disadvantaged background and so changing the lives of more than 75 young people per year!
  • Run economically sustainable: More than 50% will be generated by own income, coming from membership-fees, restaurant and agency
  • providing skilled and workplace-ready staff for hospitality
  • helping to create own Start-ups
  • Developing a Social Restaurant Franchise System

Meet the team

Mbuyi Jongqo

COOKtastic is Mbuyi’s brainchild! Previously, Mbuyi spent five years as the Programme and Job Placement Manager at the Salesian Institute Youth Projects, Cape Town, where she mentored hundreds of young people to achieve  personal sustainability and personal progress. Growing up in a rural village in the Eastern Cape, she at an early stage of her life’s journey, mastered the skill of compiling her own menu-for-living, tackling life’s challenges head-on, and always remember that “too many cooks spoil the broth”! Her fervour for the personal empowering of the youth has a positive impact. So to youth out there! Chumani!

Danniella Loock

Chef Danni lives in Cape Town, South Africa and has most recently been working as an Executive Chef in a game reserve. With a City & Guilds Advanced Diplomas in Culinary Arts, and as a qualified cooking assessor, Danni has always enjoyed cooking. She found she was meant to be a chef when she joined a chef programme and was encouraged by her Chef Instructor.

After working in 5 star game lodges and private hotels Danni trained to become a Chef Instructor hoping to encourage others to pursue their passion for culinary and has been working as an Assistant Chef Instructor /Chef Lecturer since 2011 and a full time Chef Instructor/Chef Lecturer since 2014. Danniella has worked with aspiring young chefs as part of the National Youth Chef Training Program offered by the South African Chefs Association since 2011 where she discovered her love for helping the youth follow their culinary dreams. 

Michael Vusimuzi Nkomo

Chef Mike was born in Johannesburg to a single mother of six. Coming from an underprivileged background, he found love in cooking. He has since come a long way having spent most of his almost decade long career in fine dining establishments and a top tier game lodge. 
He finds fulfillment in sharing his experience with youth who started where he was and making sure they know that anything is possible. 

Andile Ndikandika

is an accredited South African Life-Skills trainer and out-reach programme manager. He facilitates the Work-Readiness Programmes in a freelancing capacity. Andile is multi-lingual and contributes additionally the deep understanding and the personal link to the communities. Asking for his deep drive, he says “I want to die empty!”

Brigitte Sachs-Schaffer

is an experienced Austrian-based systemic business consultant. Being thankful for a highly privileged personal and professional life, she also wants to die empty. Her passion for COOKtastic is to prove, that up-to-date economic success does go together with social and ecological impact. Brigitte contributes partly remote from Austria, partly in Cape Town.

Arifa Parkar

Allow us to introduce Arifa Parkar – born in Zanzibar, daughter of an astute businessman, living for some years in Seychelles and then later completing her formal education in Mumbai, India achieving both a BA in Economics and Politics as well as an LLB as well as subsequent qualifications in teaching languages, marketing and management. She has had a highly varied career thus far spanning years that included legal counselling in family matters, teaching languages and facilitating training as well as the assessment thereof and is now SETA accredited in that regard.  Her career also includes involvement in Marketing and Management, heading this department of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry for almost 13 years and, after a break in formal employment, creating her own business services consultancy, she then took on the leadership of the Western Cape Economic Business Forum.

All these qualities and work experience total a vast knowledge of business acumen and how it works, how to survive in this precarious economy.  Arifa is “network city” and can effortlessly match business people together or help them find the right person at City of Cape Town or Province!  She is also a consummate problem-solver and while she will hold your hand and guide you out of your slump, she will expect you to do your homework, to make that effort or change in tactics and woe betides you if you are caught without a bunch of business cards!

She brings along her years of experience to COOKtastic Culinary Hub, mentoring, networking and business strategies will be her main focus.


 We thank The Rotary Austria for providing the initial kitchen investment and helping bring COOKtastic to life. 

We are currently working on Memorandum of Understandings with our hospitality partners, international Business Partnerships and support by public and private funders. 

If you or your company would like to get involved, click on the following to go to our contact page

The COOKtastic HUB has been founded in March 2019 as NPO, registered in June 2019 as Non Profit Company with the No 2019/287104/08. This is the South African legal entity for an organisation whose purpose is to earn own income to invest it responsibly and sustainably in social and societal development. Being accredited a Public Benefit Organisation, we may apply also for public and private funding, however, not being dependent on it. The public accreditation of our entry-level culinary training with CATHSSETA is in progress

(Status  – March 2020)