Think pastries, macarons, petit fours and all things sweet and delicious and one has Elze Room. After completing her studies in consumer science hospitality management at the University of Pretoria, Elze went to work as an executive chef at Brasserie de Paris, a french fine dinning restaurant in Pretoria. Wanting to further her studies she followed her passion for pastries all the way to France. She studied pastry making at ENSP (école nationale Superiuere de pâtisserie) being taught by the greats like alain ducas and Yves Thuries. This was followed by workingAfter completing my studies I worked at the pastry boutique Hugo & Victor in Paris and at the 3 star Michelin restaurant Guy Savoy also in Paris. Now back in Mzansi she is working for Tashas as the group executive chef and product développer. Elze will however be opening her own Tashas in Menlyn Maine (Pretoria) this September.
HB: What does being a woman in SA mean to you?
ER: Being a woman in south africa you have the opportunity to do and be what ever you want to be. No dream is to big as long as you are willing to work hard for it. You will be amazed at how many people are willing to help and support you everyday on your route.
HB: Who would you consider as your role model, why?
ER: Going to an all girls school and having been privileged enough to be surrounded by lots of strong and inspiring woman my entire life it is difficult to name a single person. From 2 amazing grandmothers that were both very good cooks, and amazing examples of what a lady, wife and mother should be. My own mother and god mother who are both an integral part of my everyday life and who never stops amazing me with how strong and wise they are. And amazing girl friends literally all over the world that are so successful in their own lives whether it is as a chef, designer, photographer, mother or wife, that pulls me up with them and celebrates my success as much as i do theirs.
HB: As a woman, what is the one thing you are tired of hearing?
ER: Why are you not married?
HB: Why is women empowerment important to you?
ER: Nothing and no one can bring down an empowered woman.
HB: What is your personal philosophy?
ER: What goes around comes around. And i mean this in such a positive way. The good you do today might not come back to you tomorrow in the same way, but when it comes back it comes in 10 folds when you least expect it in a million different ways. Not that I ever expect anything back when i do something. It also helps to remember not to do things to others that you don't wish upon yourself.
HB: What in your opinion makes a woman beautiful?
ER: There is nothing more beautiful and powerful than a confident woman.