Sitting down with Siba

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1. What made you fall in love with cooking?

I guess it was my inner curiosity of observing my mom and aunts in the kitchen cook intuitively with so much ease creating the most gorgeous and tasty traditional dishes. It’s probably this curiosity that made me very much invested in the kitchen to a point where I wanted to pursue food as a career in a time when it was not as attractive as it is now. It is the same curiosity which I believe is my passion that propelled me to have a bachelor’s degree in Food and Consumer Sciences with Majors in food Science and Nutrition.

2. What’s your favourite family meal memory?

As you can imagine, I have so many from childhood when my mom was the cook in our house growing up to now embodying that role as the resident chef for my family as cook for them.

However, one that comes to mind is one that we enjoyed mostly in summer and that is umphokoqo otherwise known as krummel pap or phutu pap served with maas or fresh milk. It’s a staple I make for my family even to this day and we all love and enjoy it.

3. What is your favourite recipe using McCain?

My Haddock and Broccoli bake served with mash potato is a firm favourite in the Mtongana household. It’s easy to make, delicious or should I say Sibalicious, plus its nutritious and the kids love it. It’s a big tick in my box.

4. What is your greatest source of inspiration when it comes to cooking and recipe creation?

I draw inspiration from the food I grew up eating and my immediate family also adds to that inspiration as try to meet their daily food needs. Travel also plays a very important role (when we used to travel) as it opens you mind to know flavours, ingredients, textures I would have otherwise not have been exposed to.

You will feel, see, taste and touch elements of me in every dish, be it in the form of an old family recipe that I have revamped and added a twist to, or a recipe of mine that was inspired by my travels. Every dish and every element within that dish reflects some part of me, and my story, and I truly believe that this is what makes my food and the experience I offer my guests a memorable one!

About Siba: Sibahle Mtongana, professionally known as Siba Mtongana is a South African celebrity chef and host television presenter of the Cooking Channel show Siba's Table.

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