TV chef and food writer Siba Mtongana is set to dazzle our TV screens later this month on The Food Network, as she launches her very own proudly SA-shot show, Siba's Table. ZAlebs reporter Clayton Morar caught up with Siba at her recent media launch to chat more about what went into making the show and what viewers can expect from this season of cooking delights – which will air in 90 countries around the world.
Why did you decide to sign with The Food Network and do this TV show?
The main aim of Siba's Table is to create a vibrant and mouth-watering explosion of flavour as I draw upon the buzzing restaurant scene in South Africa, my childhood influences, and my time as a food editor in order to wow the taste buds of friends and family alike. We wanted to show case the vibrancy and beauty of Cape Town too, since it is shot there but with my fabulous kitchen always being the focal point of each episode.
What was the hardest part of filming the show?
The hardest part was remembering that the international audience does not necessarily understand our proudly South African lingo such as the word “braai”. I had to mention words like “grilling” and “barbecuing” in my sentences to make sure that the rest of the world also understands what I'm talking about - yet not being too boring to local people.
What is it about cooking that has inspired you to become so passionate about it?
To me cooking is as music or fashion is to many people. It's something I thoroughly enjoy doing and find real pleasure in it. Hence I decided to pursue a food related course when I matriculated in East London, before studying a four-year degree in Food and Consumer Sciences. Now that I'm older, I particularly enjoy turning simple ingredients into wow-dishes!
What's your favourite episode of Siba's Table?
While it's so hard for me to choose one in particular, I really enjoyed the 'Date Night' episode because love is in the air, as well as 'Baby Makes Three picnic' and 'Cape Town Catch Up.'
What is the one thing that fans can look forward to on Siba's Table?
Siba’s Table is the perfect union of ideas, tips, and inventive inspiration. Her show gives her traditional childhood recipes a completely modern twist and an injection of international flavour. Adding to that, people can expect to see my family and friends being entertained using simple but elegant tasty dishes to please different crowds.
- Siba’s Table will air from 23 September on The Food Network (DStv Channel 175) weekdays at 13:05 and 18:05.