South African chef Siba Mtongana is about to launch an international career as a celebrity television chef. She has started production of Siba’s Table, her first series for Food Network, which is being filmed in Cape Town, a city known for its vibrant foodie culture.
“Siba epitomises the rich fusion culture of South African food today. Her show will give her traditional childhood recipes a completely modern twist and an injection of international flavour to entertain in more than 90 countries,” says Nick Thorogood, senior vice president for content and marketing at Scripps EMEA.
Food Network has commissioned 10 30-minutes episodes that will air throughout Africa, Europe, Middle East and the UK. Each episode of Siba’s Table recreates a chapter of her Cape Town life, as she draws on influences from her childhood, her experience as a food editor, as well as vibrant local artisan producers and the local cutting edge restaurant scene.
“Siba is an exciting and charismatic talent, and Siba’s Table is the perfect way to showcase and share her inspiring and contemporary dishes across South Africa and beyond,” says Sue Walton, head of commissioning and original content at Scripps EMEA.
Part ‘how to’ and part lifestyle, Siba’s Table is an irresistible half hour slice of recipe ideas, tips and inspiration for all occasions, from weekend brunch and instant suppers, to family feasts and beach braais.
Mtongana first cut her teeth as a television chef with a DRUM magazine sponsored show called Cooking with Siba on MNet’s Mzansi Magic. The part-time model interviewed and cooked with South African celebrities, and gave their favourites recipes a “bit of a twist”.
At the time, she told The Media Online she’d grown up watching television chefs. “I grew up watching Delia Smith when I was young and that’s my earliest TV cooking show memory. But then I fell in love with Nigella Lawson, the Kitchen Goddess. I also love Jamie Oliver’s fast energy and his passion for teaching people how to cook good food.”
She told us the five things a good cook should never be without were, “An excellent chef’s knife, good quality chopping board, good quality and steady set of pots and pans, gas stove – it’s so much better, and a dishwasher because most cooks/chefs don’t like washing dishes – including me!”
Mtongana holds a degree in Food and Consumer Sciences, majoring in food and food Science as well as nutrition. She specialises in recipe development, food writing and food styling, and has won two prestigious Galliova Awards for her food journalism and her involvement in the South African food arena.
Among other activities, she develops food supplements/booklets for clients, judges food-related events, does food workshops and demonstrations, gives food and nutrition talks to women’s conferences throughout the country and hosts TV and radio talks on food programmes and related topics. She also inspires students studying food-related courses at universities and colleges nationally by showcasing food media as a career of choice.