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Renata Coetzee

Renata Coetzee
1930 - 2018

Author of books and TV programmes on the traditional food cultures of South Africa
One of South Africa's most respected food researchers and nutritionists

Renata Marié Coetzee, née Marais, was born on 31 January 1930 in Reitzburg, Orange Free State. She studied at at the universities of Stellenbosch (MSc Nutrition), Potchefstroom (BSc Diet), Cornell USA (Dipl. Volume Catering) and Michigan USA (Dipl. Volume Kitchen Design).
Renata has a long career researching and lecturing on the traditional food cultures of South Africa. She was affiliated with the Universities of Wisconsin (USA), Stellenbosch, Pretoria and Potchefstroom, and wrote educational programmes on food preparation and nutrition for TV.
Volume catering: Renata held the position of Director for nutrition and ethnic catering for Anglo American Gold and Uranium Mines, producing also 250 000 meals daily. She was a consultant for industrial catering and published the leading volume, Cost - Conscious Creative Catering For All Cultural Tastes, Recipes for 50 - 1000 portions.

She was invited as guest lecturer and presenter of traditional South African cuisine for the African Studies Group of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, and to South African embassies in China, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, USA, Malawi and Tanzania catering to international dignitaries.

Apart from her field of study Renata was interested in arts, theatre and South Africa's cultural history. She was married to Johan Marais and lived in Stellenbosch.
Renata Coetzee died on 27 Junie 2018 at the age of 88.

Awards include:

The Chancellors Medal by the University of Pretoria in 2002.
Honorary award for Culinary Excellence from the L'Institut Culinaire
Cordon Bleu award from Silwood Kitchens for research
Elected member of SA Academy for Arts and Science
Special Honorary Award from the Academy 2016 for her lifetime contribution to international awareness, knowledge and appreciation of the food culture heritage of the different population groups in South Africa.


The Southern African Culinary Tradition, Struik, 1977
Spys en Drank, Roots of the African ethnic food cultures, Struik, 1977
Funa - Food from Africa, Butterworth, 1982
Ga Lowe - Botswana Customs and Traditional Recipes
Cost - Conscious Creative Catering For All Cultural Tastes, Recipes for 50 - 1000 portions, (Co-author: Charlé Heidenreich), published by Renate Coetzee Consultants, 1994
Koekemakranka: Khoi-Khoin-en Kultuurgoed en Kom-Kuier-Kos (with Volker Miros), Lapa, 2009
Kukumakranka (English)
Spys en Drank, LAPA, 2012
A Feast from Nature: Food Culture of the First Humans on Planet Earth, 2015
Now also available: A Feast From Nature, Sun Media 2018

Information by Renata Coetzee, May 2003

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