We’re incredibly excited to welcome Ollie Swart to the Jack Black Ambassador Family. We’ve known Chef Ollie for years, we first met through Jack Black Ambassador, Matt Bromley, and had the privilege to work with him and Chef Ivor at our annual Oyster Feast - needless to say, he left a memorable impression on the full Jack Black team.
My name is Ollie Swart, I’m a chef based in Cape Town, but born in Durban, KZN. Proud of my 031 roots!
I got my Cordons Bleus Grande Diploma at Silwood School of Cookery and was staged in some of the best restaurants in SA at the time, such as Test Kitchen, La Calombe and Pot Luck Club. Today I co-own one of the biggest catering companies in South Africa, Annalize Catering, with my Mentor/Friend/Mother-in-law Annalize Buchanan, who I’ve worked with for over 13 years. She’s an inspiration and true legend in the industry.
Can you share a favourite project or proudest moment with us?
Cooking for Nelson Mandela when I was younger was unforgettable, as was Desmond Tutu’s Birthday. I’ve also had the opportunity to cook for some exclusive weddings, such as Bettina Looney and Carlos Segovia / Amelia Spencer and Greg Mallet / Demi Leigh and Tim Tebow – which has also been epic.
Most people love to eat food, not all love to make food. What makes you so passionate about making food?
I’ve always loved it. I got a frying pan for my 6th birthday! Cooking is my love language. I love making people happy with my food, it’s like giving them a piece of my heart – and I truly mean that!
We asked Ollie a couple of questions, so we could all get to know him a little better.
Tell us a bit more about the videos you’ve been making – we’re all in when watching you cook!
It all started when my wife was filming me doing ‘Cook along’ videos during the Covid lockdown. I loved that other people were cooking the dishes and getting inspired and it really just grew from there. Fast forward to today, and my friend Ant is now behind the scenes, making the videos look a hell of a lot more professional – and fun.
What are the top 3 things you love to Braai?
Lamb chops with a yogurt herb marinade!!! My wife too!
Spicy Thai Chicken wings
Any butterflied fish
So, you’re having a guilty late-night snack, will you end up still cooking up a feast or is it drive through Mac Donald’s?
Making pasta! I’m known amongst my friends to make the most ridiculous things after a night out – when my creative juices are flowing… ha ha…
So which Jack Black Beer is your favourite and why?
Probably the Skeleton Coast IPA. It’s powerful in flavour and puts hairs on my chest.
Now that you’re a Jack Black Ambassador, do you think you’ll be cooking with beer a lot more?
Definitely… beer is so versatile, and I use it in food often! Who doesn’t love a beer can Weber chicken?
Lastly, could you give us a little glimpse into the future of Chef Ollie?
I’ll always be cooking for events with Annalize, hopefully my cookbook is coming out soon, and a TV show in the near future! Who knows!?!
Be sure to follow Ollie on his Insta and keep your eyes peeled for news on some upcoming projects that we have planned with Ollie too!