Meet the Cooking Tenor

Van der Nest in action during a function in Marloth Park.

MARLOTH PARK – There is some amazing talent among local residents and anyone who has heard Etienne van der Nest perform, either at social events or during private functions at Maqueda Lodge, can attest to this.

The journalist chatted to Van der Nest to find out how he came to be known as ‘The Cooking Tenor’.

Van der Nest was born in the Western Transvaal, attended Laerskool Piet Retief and matriculated at Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool in Pretoria.

His love and passion for music was fostered by Sonja van der Walt, choir conductor of the East Rand Youth Choir, which he was a part of for several years.

He attended the International Zimriya music festival in Israel in 1985 where he realised that music would be an integral part of his life.

After starting his training at the University of Potchefstroom, Van der Nest received a scholarship to go train in the USA. He had three years of private voice coaching there and nine more in Germany.

He performed in many operas and concerts in South Africa, the USA, England, Europe, and Israel over the years.

His love for cooking and music led him to develop the concept for the Cooking Tenor shows. Guests are treated to a dinner consisting of several courses, each designed around musical performances following the same theme. He has presented the show from the Hamptons to New York, and all over Europe.

Van der Nest has a home both in Marloth Park and Berlin, Germany. The tenor says his brother, Francois van der Nest, always had a dream to build a family home in the bush, which came true when their father started building Maqueda Lodge in 1998. At that stage Van der Nest was back in South Africa after nine years of study in Germany.

Maqueda soon became a thriving business, and the closeness of family as well as opportunities to develop his recipes for the Cooking Tenor show made it the ideal home.

Van der Nest says it is fantastic to stay in Marloth Park, as it is only an hour’s drive away from the ocean and Mozambique. He is also involved with two churches, one at the lodge and another in Komatipoort. He also performs with three other musicians in the area, under the name of Q quartet.

When Etienne is not behind a microphone, he does work at his software development company (which is also a hobby).

The tenor loves developing new recipes for the small, private functions which he hosts once a month, and is already planning his Valentine’s dinner at Maqueda Lodge and Lydenburg. Fans of his performances can look forward to concerts in Middelburg, the Brooklyn Theatre in Pretoria, and several other towns and cities throughout the year.

Van der Nest will return to Berlin, as he does every year, to work with his duet partner, the Soprano Ariana Yonczyk. They are working on a new CD with operetta duets. He will also present several “The Cooking Tenor” evenings in Zurich, Salzburg, and Köln.

To find out more about The Cooking Tenor and his shows and performances, visit www.vdnest.com.

  AUTHOR
Sanet Bruins-Lich

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