Sonia Cabano, a TV chef, was discovered dead at her home on Monday. She was 57 years old.
Meyer de Waal, Sonia’s brother, confirmed to Netwerk24 that his sister’s death was discovered in her home. The cause of death has not yet been determined.
Sonia, formerly Sonia de Waal, grew up in Brandfort, Free State, but lived in Cape Town with her two children, Guillaume (21) and Sabah (19).
The South African TV chef was well-known for his work as a food fundi, a specialist food writer, a public speaker, a professional caterer, a personal chef, and a facilitator of cooking demonstrations and corporate presentations.
She wrote four cookbooks and hosted the popular Afrikaans culinary lifestyle series Pampoen tot Perlemoen, which aired on kykNET (DStv 144) and SABC2.
Sonia was a former model who appeared on magazine covers and in numerous local and international TV and print advertising campaigns during the 1980s. Sonia’s modeling profession in the United Kingdom led her to organize dinner parties for celebrities such as Tina Turner and Margaret Thatcher.
She returned to Cape Town, intending to save money to attend a chef school in France, but her father objected, and she instead returned to London for another 12 years, working in restaurants before returning to Cape Town.
Winnie Madikizela-lawyer Mandela’s in Brandfort was Sonia’s father. She met Winnie when she was 14, and she credits Winnie with teaching her about “endurance and devotion.”
Sonia wrote poignantly in late 2020: “The upside of a long and traumatic period of lockdown, extreme isolation, and separation for all of us is that my children have both returned home, learned to cook and clean properly after themselves, and have not only learned to shop sensibly for good, proper ingredients, but also know what to do with them.
“Chop, peel, and grate. Cooking methods include steaming, frying, and sautéing. That’s incredible. This is a significant step forward in our particular family’s evolution, in my opinion. They are fantastic cooks. Delectably. In our small kitchen, they work well together and cook better and more interestingly than I do.
“Both excel at their online studies, and despite actual obstacles, both are interesting, amusing, and engaging people who enjoy music and reading and, my god, they can cook.”