Wanted Digital Cover: Decoding Umami.
Wanted Digital Cover: Decoding Umami.
Image: Supplied

Meet our first-ever Wanted Digital cover star, chef Wandile Mabaso, for Johnnie Walker Blue Label Umami. In his hard slog to create a space for himself in a huge gastronomic wilderness, the Soweto-born Mabaso spent years studying and working both at home and, significantly, in France, under the tutelage of leading global culinary stars such as Alain Ducasse, Olivier Reginensi, and Jocelyn Herland. 

As the South African chef chosen to pair his culinary skills with Johnnie Walker Blue Elusive Umami — the limited release inspired by the elusive “fifth taste”, created by Johnnie Walker master blender Dr Emma Walker and world-renowned chef Kei Kobayashi — Mabaso recently travelled back to the city of light for the global launch, which included an eight-course pairing menu by Kobayashi. 

The two chefs — from different parts of the world but sharing a similar journey — spent some time together and, in this video, shot in the runup to the recent South African introduction to Umami, he describes how the experience reinforced his devotion to authenticity as he prepared his own menu for the recent South African launch.

Johnnie Walker Umami Experience.

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