Author International Hotel School   |  May 5, 2017

The hospitality Industry is a global industry! It offers exciting opportunities to graduates who wish to travel, and take up careers both locally and abroad. It is one of the world’s fastest growing and most dynamic fields of employment, with positive trends forecasted for the coming years. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the industry is promising more growth and a powerful economic influence in the next decade over and above the 260 million Hospitality jobs worldwide already created by the industry. A case in point is Chef Wally from our IHS Durban Campus a student who is extremely passionate and highly driven about the Hospitality Industry. Wally started her own culinary business called Back2Basics Kzn and Four Walls, we touched base with her to find out a little more on her new business venture read about Chef Wally and her success in the Culinary world below…

What did you study with IHS?

I studied Diploma in Culinary arts, Diploma in Advanced Culinary Arts, CTH Certificate and I’m still currently doing the Pastry Course.

Which year did you graduate/ will graduate?

I’ve graduated now in 2017 and will hopefully graduate again in 2018 for my pastry course… fingers crossed!

When and where did your passion for hospitality begin?

I come from a family where everyone knows how to cook. My whole family is always hanging around the kitchen, it’s where important matters are discussed, fights are had and celebrations take place. At a very young age the kitchen and cooking itself became my happy place and that passion has grown as I have grown older.

Why did you choose to study with IHS?

I liked the fact that studying at IHS meant that I could get proper industry experience where I get to see first hand if I’m truly meant for this life.

What did/ do you love most about IHS?

The friends I met during my Culinary Arts course and the amazing support, love and encouragement we all still have towards each other’s careers. The type of support and love we all have for each other is truly unparalleled.

What made you start your own business?

Its always been a dream of mine to own a coffee shop but my plan was to finish my pastry diploma, travel the world for a few years then come back to open up my own place… Things just happened in a different order and I know that If I didn’t take this opportunity I would have regretted it.

Tell us about your business, how long is it running?

Technically its 2 different businesses. They’ve both been around for a year. I’ve just taken them over since the beginning of February. They are on the same premises which makes it a lot easier for me to be managing two things at once.

Back 2 Basics is the cooking school where I teach cooking as an extra mural activity for kids in the area. I teach kids from 5-12 years old and hold classes every Tuesday to Friday from 2:00 to 3:30. I also do adult cooking classes on Friday and Saturday evenings at Back 2 Basics these are run from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. My couples cooking classes are the most popular. Four Walls is the restaurant side of it, where we serve bistro style food. It’s a very relaxed environment with a lovely courtyard that has a way to calm you and make you feel at ease. It’s what made me fall in love with the space.

Where do you see yourself in 2, 5 and 10 years time?

In 2 years time: My 2 businesses will be stable and consistently offering excellent service and food and hopefully both well known establishments in the area. In 5 years time: I’m hopefully going to expand and have 2 new businesses. (I’ve got my eye on one already….but shhh don’t tell anyone). Maybe even start a family at this point but I doubt it.. the way my schedule is set up the only boys in my life have 4 legs and they’re hairy!

Do you have any advice for people consiering Hospitality?

Do your research, even volunteer at your local restaurant/ coffee shop to really see if you want to do this first, then study your heart out, learn everything you can about the industry. Keep current with latest trends and learn all the flavour combinations. Have fun in the kitchen as much as you can but just know that this industry isnt for the light-hearted, you have to love it and even that’s not enough… you have to love it to the point of madness so that when you have those days that almost break you. you can wake up the next morning happy and ready to do it again knowing you’re doing what you love.

What is your motto in life?

“reuniiting my heart with the soul of the world” – Paulo Coehlo , The Alchemist

If you havent read this book I highly recommend it, it’s the book that gave me the balls to apply to culinary school.

What has been your most memorable moment in the Hospitality industry?

This industry is so colourful there has been so many, but my top moments are:

  1. Getting hired to cook for a unilever africa function in jhb with my fellow Chef classmates (Bathandekile, Samkelo & Musa)
  2. Getting booked to do a show at Decorex SA Durban
  3. Launching my restaurant Four Walls
  4. Watching one of the kids I teach show a new kid how to properly hold a knife…it is small, but I was immensely proud.

Where can we find you on social media?

Instagram: Fourwallstoti or whatswallycooking

Facebook: Four Walls or Back 2 Basics KZN (Cooking school)