Ilse started her career as a model at the age of 18 years and soon secured campaigns like Sports Illustrated swimwear in 2001 and 2002 as well as the cover girl for Cosmopolitan’s lingerie issue and the face of Magnum ice cream 2 years running. Her love for food have always been a big hurdle in her attempt to stay skinny enough to be a successful international model, and after 8 years of depriving herself, she decide to hang up the bikini’s and begin a career as a plus size model. Having even more success as a plus size model and travelling all over the world extensively, gave her exposure to all different cuisines and her love for cooking was born.
Her passion for India and the amazing food became an obsession. She dreamed of a career in food and when Masterchef hit SA she knew that this would be the perfect opportunity to get herself noticed in the food industry. Finishing 7th in season 1 helped her to start up her own brand, the Gourmet Princess which lead to a cookbook, The Gourmet Sisters, with fellow Masterchef contestant and friend, Sue-Ann Allen. She hosted her first season of her cooking show, IlseKook, on Kyknet and was also seen as the face of Maggi Lazenby and Food Lovers Market.
A keen blogger and foodie, Ilse is living her dream. She was awarded second place in the Off Local food blogger of the year for 2015 and is actively involved in restaurant consulting and reviewing. Her most recent project is the menu and recipe planning for new franchise, Company Social Brasserie where she developed all the recipes for the menu, food costing and kitchen manuals along with training of kitchen staff.