Jodi-Ann Pearton

Founder, Food Design agency and Cookie Design Emporium

Durban-born Jodi-Ann Pearton finished high school in Johannesburg and went on to do the fi rst year of a BSc in veterinary science at the University of Pretoria. But, like many first years, Pearton had rushed into picking a course and soon found she wasn't happy with her choice. At the end of the year Pearton decided she needed to take time off from studying, and wanted to do something "fun�. Having achieved 95% in home economics in high school, she thought it would be cool to take a year off and "go cheffing�. She went off to the Silwood Kitchen, a cookery school in Cape Town, for a year � and ended up completing a three-year culinary course. "Afterwards I worked in and around Cape Town learning from incredible chefs,� she says. Next Pearton took a job at Nando's as an international development chef before opening her own company, The Food Design Agency, in 2008. The company, the most successful business of its kind in the country, offers food styling, product development and training. Pearton, who, in 2005, was selected to join the South African Chefs Association's culinary team, has won the Chef of the Year award three times in a row and the prestigious "By Invitation Only� competition in 2009, among numerous other accolades. � Lisa Steyn

Lunch spot: Bread and Wine, Franschhoek, Western Cape