The 23rd Annual Nantucket Wine & Food Festival: May 15-19, 2019

Linkie Marais

Celebrity Chef

Award-winning wedding cake artist, grill master, hunter, fisherman, and even beauty queen are all extensions to her title, making Linkie Marais more than your average chef. With a love for exploring, cooking and the outdoors, her passion for food and creativity stems all the way back to her unique blend of South African and Southern roots. Born in Evander, a town in northeastern South Africa, Linkie was raised in the kitchen, helping her mother prepare meals on a daily basis.

 

Immigrating to the U.S. in 1999, Linkie and her family settled in Tupelo, Mississippi where she began her culinary career piping cakes for a local catering company. Upon obtaining a degree in Culinary and a minor in Food Arts from Mississippi University for Women, Linkie’s career took off as she held various pastry and executive chef positions in Oxford, Mississippi before making the move to Massachusetts’ acclaimed Montilio’s Bakery. Years later, Linkie decided to venture out on her own and accepted the opportunity of a lifetime to compete on Food Network’s hit series, “Next Food Network Star Season 8”.

 

Soon after the Food Network, Linkie started her own award-winning local show in Massachusetts, called “Living Linkie Style”, where Linkie describes herself as a young Julia Child. After time, Linkie’s passion for adventure, fire prepared food and the need for her South African roots took her to grilling. She soon became a grill master and became one of The Big Green Eggs’s culinary partners doing grilling demos. Soon, Linkie found herself in a world where cake decorating, grilling, and cooking became just a small piece of who she is. Having catered and done work for extremely well-known people like President Obama, Colin Powell, Franki Valli and many more, Linkie decided to yet again follow adventure where food and adrenaline collide. With her excellent eye for detail that landed her some of the most elite events around the country, and her love for the ocean, Linkie became a private yacht chef in 2015. She fell in love with the extreme demands and high energy dynamics of the yachting industry. Even though she still does high-end events with prestigious wine and food festivals and companies like Big Green Egg and General Electric, she now travels the globe cooking and exploring her way through life.