My Experience

I am a passionate foodie & food consultant living in Cape Town who specialises in Persian & Middle Eastern food.

Aliya Mazandarani

Despite my huge passion for food and cooking since being a young girl, I chose a more practical
route of business & marketing which I studied in Cape Town before leaving to Europe to work and acquire more skills. The stress of living and working in a big city like London pushed me to seek better balance in my life and I began a long and difficult personal journey into improving my health (I had a spastic colon and all kind of other digestive disorders). Reconnecting with my passion for good food and its ability to nourish and heal the body I embarked on a 3-year Natural Medicine, Naturopathy and Nutrition Diploma in London with CNM. I qualified in 2005 and worked as a Nutritional Therapist for many years which has given me deep insights into many aspects of achieving optimal health through food.

In 2010 I was encouraged to enter Masterchef UK where I managed to get to the quarter finals. I felt this experience gave me much more confidence in my ability and competency in the kitchen and I think it was during this time that I realised I wanted to cook more and perhaps develop recipes and host dining events. Returning to SA began a career working with the health food brand Natures
Choice where I held the position as their National Dietary & Lifestyle counsellor which was a diverse and enjoyable role. I developed recipes, helped with labelling products and creating valuable copy, answering queries about the products themselves as well as travelling the country on their behalf giving talks and training their staff and staff at Dischem & Wellness Warehouse. We parted ways in 2017 as I decided to work freelance giving me more flexibility and opportunity to pursue my passions.

Since then I have been cooking up a storm; reconnecting with my love of the food of my heritage and hosting cooking classes and dining events in Cape Town. I have been featured on the fabulous foodie platform Eatsplorer for the last 3 years and have had so many groups of wonderful people coming through my home learning how to make the food I love the most. Being asked to feature in Taste Magazine in 2019 was a real highlight for me and an acknowledgment that following your passion is always true!