Life is short.... eat cake first

This Is My Story

My love for cooking started fairly early on as I was always pestering my mother to allow me to help her in the kitchen.

I made a birthday cake for my brother when I was 9 using an old cookbook of my mother’s and my love for baking as well as dessert making began.

In 1993 I did a Chefs Course at Staffords Cookery School (Bill Stafford was British Chef of the Year in 1984), and came top of my class with 98%.

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After this I decided to open a cookery school – Shelley’s Cuisine Scene where I taught many different cookery courses, my favourite being Dessert and Confectionery making. 

The other courses on offer were Vegetarian, Starters, Snacks, Christmas and Buffet food.

Another favourite was Round-the-World where students learned how to do a Starter, Main Course & Dessert of the following countries: Greece, Italy, Hungary, Spain, France, Austria, Thailand & South Africa. 

I also organised many Guest Chefs offering courses on Chocolate making, Jams, Jellies & Pickles, Fish and many more.

Whenever I went overseas, I tried to do short courses to improve my knowledge such as Thai cooking in Bangkok, Vegetarian cooking in London, Creole Cooking in the Seychelles as well as spending time at AMC International in Rotkreuz, Switzerland learning how to cook food based on fat-free and waterless cooking concepts which I later demonstrated in my own cooking school.

After moving into a large home, I relocated my cooking school into my home and set up Mountain View Guest House where I hosted many overseas visitors.

I cooked gourmet meals for my guests as well as continuing to offer cookery causes for guests as well as locals.

During this time, my brother opened a restaurant in the Cape Winelands so I was tasked with training up his restaurant staff. I also devised all the menus as well as running all the functions such as birthdays, weddings and many other celebrations for a number of years until the restaurant was sold.

I also consulted to restaurants regarding hygiene as well as training a number of restaurant staff in dessert making and menu planning in many different restaurants mainly in the Cape Winelands. Another interest was food styling for advertising shoots as well as catering for embassy’s product launches.

I have in later years become interested in discovering and researching what is in the food we eat after becoming concerned about the rise in cancer cases. People are mostly unaware that our vegetables are grown in soil that contains pesticides while both our fruit and vegetables are sprayed with all number of poisons.

Chickens are fed feed that contains Glyphosate, a cancer causing chemical and a number of chickens, cattle and sheep are given growth hormones and antibiotics while the majority of fish caught in South African waters contain mercury.

I am currently writing a cookbook containing my favourite recipes collected and thoroughly tested over my 35 year career in food.

Thanks for popping in and I hope you can gain as much inspiration and love for food as I have.

Please feel free to reach out - I would love to hear from you.


Shelley Ann Kirsten

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