Brett Ladds – Nelson Mandela’s Executive Chef

Brett Ladds – Nelson Mandela’s Executive Chef served as the executive chef of the South African government from 1994 to 2000 under presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

During this time he managed the presidential guesthouse, cooked daily for the president and his guests and catered for 54 state banquets. Book Brett through Conference Speakers

Today Brett Ladds owns Chefs@566 restaurant in Pretoria and is also involved at the Mercedes Benz Lifestyle Avantgarde Bistro. Brett Ladds has been a partner in a number of catering companies and has catered for up to 25 000 people.

Brett Ladds - Nelson Mandela's Executive Chef

Brett Ladds – Nelson Mandela’s Executive Chef

Brett Ladds – Nelson Mandela’s Executive Chef

Brett Ladds has been featured in several newspapers and magazines, and has also made appearances on television and radio stations.

From the beginning of my career, I have been extremely blessed.

I have been trained and worked with the top echelon in the Industry as well as catered and cooked for the elite worldwide.

With my positive attitude and not willing to back down combined with my humbleness and sincerity I have grown and will continue. Food, hospitality and people are in my blood and I truly enjoy what I do and do all I can to utmost perfection. Love life and the challenges and pray I can continue on my life voyage.

+ Sponsored by Mercedes Benz Menlyn

+ Author of The Mandela Appreciation Club



Author “Mandela Appreciation Club” -to be released in April 2018

Throughout my career After Dinner speaking – National & International

2016 – present EXECUTIVE CHEF & OWNER– Chefs @ 566

+ Where I expanded my vision and opened Chefs @ 566, which is currently in the top 10 restaurants in South Africa in under 2 years.

2015 – 2016 EXECUTIVE CHEF & OWNER– Essence Catering

2013 – 2015 EXECUTIVE CHEF/ GENERAL MANAGER – Avianto + I took Avianto in two years to the Number 1 wedding venue in Gauteng in 2015, first time they achieved this award in 17 years. The conference facilities are highly rated and are the preferred venue for numerous corporates.

2007 – 2013 EXECUTIVE CHEF / PARTNER – Chez Charlene

+ I was part of the team that took a new company from open doors to rated Number 1 wedding venue.

+ Presented Chez Charlene on Top Billing twice

+ Mentioned in You magazine, Huisgenoot & Pretoria News.


1994 – 2000 EXECUTIVE CHEF/ GENERAL MANAGER – Presidential Guesthouse

I assisted in the coordinating and cheffed of the 1994 Inauguration of

President Mandela.

I personally ran the house and catered for President Mandela and all his guests between 1994 – 1996. Follow Conference Speakers on Twitter


Hosted the following delegates:

o Queen of England 1995

o King and Queen of Morocco

o Prince Charles 1997

o King Mswati the III

o Vice President of America 1997

o President of Russia

o President of Zimbabwe

o President of Congo

o President of Portugal

o Chancellor of Germany

o President of Angola

o President of China

o President of Japan

o President of Botswana

o President of Australia

o President of New Zealand

o President of Namibia

o President of Ethiopia

o President of Ruanda

o The Pope


Cheffed for the following celebrities:

o Michael Jackson

o Naomi Campbell

o Luciano Pavarotti

o Quincy Jones

o 1995 Ruby World cup winners


Brett Ladds – Nelson Mandela’s Executive Chef


Brett Ladds - Nelson Mandela's Executive Chef

Brett Ladds – Nelson Mandela’s Executive Chef

Chef Brett Ladds’s cooking has made Quincy Jones sing, he was once given a cigar by Fidel Castro and he has talked weightlifting with Swazi king Mswati III. For many years he also served Nelson Mandela many cups of rooibos tea and made him his favourite meals.

Brett Ladds was the executive chef of the SA government and manager of the presidential guesthouse at Bryntirion Estate in Pretoria from 1994-1999 where he served both Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. It was a naive and star-struck 21-year-old Ladds who started working at the guesthouse in the months before the first democratic election. During this time he was always in the background when struggle stalwarts like Steve Tshwete, Joe Modise and Dullah Omar met Mandela to discuss the future of the country.

This heart-warming book tells of a young man’s coming of age at a turning point in our history. Brett Ladds – Nelson Mandela’s Executive Chef stories about meeting kings and queens, presidents, rock stars and even the pope are laced with his self-deprecating sense of humour. Of Queen Elizabeth he says it felt like speaking to his gran. “I asked myself, how does all that power fit into this lovely, caring lady?” Of Robert Mugabe: “He never moaned about a thing.”




There are also Russian diplomats with wild drinking habits and a Saudi-Arabian sheik who had 8 television sets installed in his room. And Madiba’s favourite champagne? Pêche Royale . . .

Ladds’s disarming honesty and humanity is bound to charm.



  • A rare glimpse into the private life of Mandela and the amusing traits of some international leaders and celebrity VIPs
  • Funny and engaging; an easy read
  • An insider’s view on what it takes to look after a president, run a presidential guest house and cater for state banquets
  • Possible endorsement by Aziz Pahad or Matthews Phosa

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