Nici & Jen’s culinary paths first crossed while studying at Edinburgh University Business School. Their passion for food instantly connected them and they formed a close friendship as they shared ideas, experiences and knowledge of food from their travels.
After studying in Scotland, they each set off on their own paths, working in different industries and countries for several years. They eventually decided to follow their hearts and further their studies in food, which led them to Cape Town, South Africa. After gathering culinary degrees from the Silwood School of Cookery and The Culinary Academy, and cheffing experience at Singita and Londolozi Private Game Reserves as well as local caterers, they teamed up to establish Zest Catering.
Nici, born in Hamburg, Germany, has lived in several countries throughout Europe, namely Holland, Denmark, Sweden and the UK, and has taken with her a little of the culinary tastes and traditions of each country.
Jen Franklin Pearson
Jen, born and raised in Toronto, Canada, moved to the UK to complete her schooling. It was here that her interest in food began as she spent many hours behind the scenes at the family run restaurant.
Maria is from the Botrivier area and began working for Zest in 2007 after gaining valuable experience at a well known local restaurant and farm stall specialising in traditional, homemade South African fare, pantry products and baked goods.
Moira is also from Bot River. She began working for Zest in 2009. Fresh out of the apple industry and into the kitchen, Moira has quickly learnt the tricks of the trade. She is precise, hard working and a calming influence on the whole team. She prefers the savoury side and runs a mile when baking is on the schedule. Moira adds sweetness to the Zest Team
Moesjka has joined us fresh from culinary school. Although she comes equipped with a cooking degree, she is learning the tricks of the trade from the Zesty ladies. She brings youthful energy to the team. Moesjka adds pepper to the Zest Team.