At the age of 33, executive chef Jackie Cameron has taken the culinary world by storm, and now she’s adding spice to it with her protégés.

Cameron did not go in search of awards. They found her. At age 25 she got her first National Top 10 restaurant award, followed by her first EatOut Top 10 a year later.

The accolades kept coming after that and now far surpass a baker’s dozen. It’s hard work that opened doors for her. She has travelled the globe and cooked many eight-course dinners at five-star events – each one adding a special ingredient to her personal world of food.

This celebrity chef and TV judge’s biggest personal achievement was opening the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, and impressing City & Guilds of London with her exceptional students. Armed with rolling pins, whisks and five-star training, they are cooking with gas.

In the opening year her students achieved a 100-percent distinction rate, an unheard of accomplishment for a school so young. But then, these protégés were taught by someone whose motto in life is to “lead by example”.

Follow Jackie on Twitter: @jackie_cameron