HomePeopleFezeka Mavuso: Leading the way for culinary and mixology education

Fezeka Mavuso: Leading the way for culinary and mixology education

As the founder and CEO of Clazzique Academy and Bar School, Fezeka Mavuso has turned her love for the culinary arts into a business. Fezeka’s mother introduced her to the culinary world and guided her towards this path after she completed her matric.

“I fell in love with it, especially when guests complimented the food and service received,” she shares.

This early encouragement fuelled her passion, leading her to explore different cuisines and cultures, ultimately finding joy in teaching. “The excitement when students are in the kitchen and seeing what they can produce is amazing,” she says.

The decision to start a bar school was a natural extension of her interests. “It’s my passion for education and the hospitality industry that led me here,” Fezeka explains.

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The art of mixology, combined with culinary education, allows her to show off her creativity and skill. This blend is not just about mixing drinks but about crafting experiences, a philosophy that Fezeka imparts to her students.

Outside the kitchen, Fezeka draws inspiration from diverse sources. Engaging with students about their lives and aspirations keeps her grounded and motivated. She also finds value in podcasts like FabAcademic and Vastly Sage, which offer fresh perspectives and insights.

Mentorship is something Fezeka holds dear and it plays a crucial role in shaping the future of her students.

“Mentorship instils a sense of professionalism, work ethic, and respect for the craft,” she emphasises.

At Clazzique Academy, mentorship is a continuous practice, tailored to understand and address the personal challenges students face. “Building confidence is critical, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Teaching them that anything is possible with a positive mind-set is key.”

Fezeka proudly shares success stories from her academy, highlighting students like Confidence Rens.

She says after just six weeks of training, Confidence excelled in competitions and is now making waves in the industry. Such achievements highlight the academy’s effectiveness, with about 60% of graduates currently employed and receiving positive feedback from employers.

Keeping the curriculum relevant is another priority for Fezeka. To do this, she stays updated through engagements with host employers, scholarly research, and following renowned chefs. This ensures that Clazzique Academy remains at the forefront of industry trends and techniques.

Fezeka mentions that teaching aspiring chefs and bartenders comes with its challenges as attitude, lack of motivation, and self-doubt are common hurdles. She addresses these by sharing her personal journey, including becoming an executive chef at 22 and starting her business. These stories inspire and motivate her students, proving that hard work and determination can turn dreams into reality.

Looking ahead, Fezeka envisions a future where culinary education blends traditional techniques with modern innovations, emphasising sustainability, cultural diversity, and interdisciplinary learning. Her holistic approach aims to equip future professionals with the skills, knowledge, and values needed to succeed in an evolving industry.

Despite her professional commitments, Fezeka finds time for personal relaxation, often involving her daughter.

“I don’t really have a personal life,” she jokes, sharing that her daughter is the one who motivated this answer.

“I go out once in a while with my daughter. Sunday’s after cooking, I then listen to different podcasts to draw my inspiration and to learn new things,” she says. “At the moment, I’m putting all my energy into building the academy.”

Text: Justine Fortuin. Venue: Relekane Guesthouse



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