As a reality documentary living up to its title in nearly every way conceivable, Netflix’s ‘You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment’ can only be described as equal parts baffling, educating, and intriguing. That’s because it carefully revolves around a group of identical twins as they completely change their diets for an eight-week scientific experiment to explore precisely how food impacts their lives. Amongst them were actually South African natives Pam and Wendy Drew — so now, if you simply wish to learn more about them as well as their current standing, we’ve got the details for you.
Who Are Pam and Wendy?
Born and raised in Durban, South Africa, in an incredibly intense yet culturally diverse community, Pam and Wendy have always been food enthusiasts considering the way it connected them all. “We are what they consider as colored because of cultural mix,” the former once said. “Our family is extremely diverse. So we [have] Indian aunties, we have Black uncles, white grandparents. [Also], Cape Malaysian is part of our DNA as well.” It thus comes as no surprise they learned to cook at a relatively early age too, unaware they’d end up building their career out of it despite having initially pursued other avenues.
The truth is that when Pam and Wendy arrived in the US, they settled in completely different areas – Seattle and New York City, respectively – before reconnecting in San Francisco. That’s when they realized there’s no real representation of authentic South African cuisine anywhere, driving them to build their entire community from the ground up not just for their own sense of comfort but also for others. “We’re so proud of our cuisine that we started to invite our friends to come over for Sunday lunch with us,” Wendy once said. “[Our business] basically grew from there. Pam was the chef and everyone was like, ‘Oh my god! Your food is so delicious.'”
Wendy continued, “Sunday lunch was sort of our way of introducing South African cuisine to our friends, family, and community. It started off as just a hobby, as something social. Sunday dinners were so normal in our own home that we wanted to share that tradition.” This then led to them catering an event for themselves during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the success of which made them realize there was a real market for their cuisine in the food industry, specifically across the states. Hence came Amawele’s South African Kitchen, which honestly provides an offering of fresh, drool-worthy food prepared with the highest quality of primarily local ingredients.
Pam and Wendy’s business, both their pop-ups as well as catering did take a massive hit during the COVID-19 pandemic owing to everything being shut down, but their reputations helped. After all, prior to the Netflix production, they’d already been featured in Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ and Food Networld’s ‘Great Food Truck Race’ season 15 – in the latter, they were actually finalists. So, with such incredible accolades already under their belt, they were able to stay afloat before managing to rise up once again after the world opened up — it has been to such an extent they now even get to take time for themselves.
Where Are Pam and Wendy Now?
From what we can tell, apart from being closer than ever these days, Pam and Wendy are also expanding their wings in the food and beverages industry, all the while focusing on their personal lives too. In fact, they recently even launched a Rooibos Vodka Refresher by the name of RedPearl, which is an entirely different yet complementary brand to Amawele’s South African Kitchen. Moreover, and more importantly, it appears as if the twins even have families of their own today, who are as proud of them as they are of each other in terms of both personal and professional standings.
As for what it’s like for Pam and Wendy to run an entire growing business together, it’s “Frustrating,” the latter has since quipped. “No, it’s fun. The beauty about it, is that we can scream at each other but there is a lot of love because we both want to grow. There’s not a personality clash because we know each other. We did have to learn how to compartmentalize and separate out our roles…. Once we finally had our roles clear, it was easier for us to identify who was responsible for what and who controlled what. That made our work less stressful.” While Pam is the cook/producer, Wendy is the CEO/operations head.