Macy Gray, The Jacksons, Arrested Development, Lira, Judith Sephuma, Hugh Masakela … the names of the stars performing at the DStv Delicious Festival roll off the tongue as sweetly as one of Siba Mtongana’s wicked puddings.
The Food Network superstar is one of the celebrity chefs – Jenny Morris, Reza Mahammad, Sarah Graham are others – who will be in attendance at the food and music festival. [There’s even a useful app download to keep visitors abreast of what’s happening and where.]
Here, Mtongana shares the creative process of how she gets ready to appear at an event such as this.
1. What prep goes into planning for a festival such as Delicious?
A lot as you can imagine because it’s a proper food and music festival. On my side, once the concept has been agreed on and finalised with Food Network I then start the process of to create amazing content of what I want to share with my audience. Last year it was coming up with different recipes and teaching people cool tips and tricks in the kitchen. This often include getting chefs and others to assist in getting ingredients and other things for the demonstrations. This year it’s a little different, fun and exciting. I’m looking forward to it.
2.What can fans expect to see on the Food Network stand this year?
I love teaching, sharing information and making cooking easy and accessible. So I’ll be sharing tips and tricks of how to entertain effortlessly at home. As well as how to make your food look spectacular using props (plates, crockery, glasses, etc.) as that is one of the many things I specialize in.
3.What musical acts are you most looking forward to at this year’s festival?
4.What are you most looking forward to at the 2016Delicious Festival?
Interacting with my fans and signing My Table to those who purchase it.
5. Congratulations on the announcement of your third season, can you tell us a little bit about the upcoming series?
We are adding a bit more vavavoom on the show and came up with new exciting ideas that will teach and entertain our audience but with delightful surprise elements. I can’t tell much at this point as we are in pre-productions and things are still top secret until filming. So watch the space, it’s really going to be super exciting.
6.Travel Channel is also going to be at Delicious Festival this year, what is one destination you have always wanted to go to, and have never been to?
I haven’t been to Paris yet! I know it maybe sound like a cliché but which girl doesn’t dream of going the love capital city of the world?
7. How high is food on your priority list when choosing a holiday destination?
#Number1 I remember each country mostly by it’s food, people and beauty! I’m that order.
8. People from all around the globe are tuning in to Food Network to catch their daily dose of Siba what is it in your opinion that makes your show so universal?
It’s different elements that attract different viewers. I always try to make my recipes as easy as can be. I also insist on using accessible and readily available ingredients too so that people can easily to make the recipes at home. So people love that.
The family angle of the show is what most also like too. People write to me all the time telling me how they enjoy seeing us as a family unit and how they appreciate the support that my husband gives me. Others just simple love my nunubies – parents and non-parents – which is sweet.
The production quality of the show is absolutely beautiful and the show is very well shot. I must mention that the production team that I work with is really top notch in this business globally as they work with the likes of Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and many other big food rock stars!
Others love Food Network and watch any program they air. And then some people love the beautiful scenery of Cape Town as it’s truly magnificent. Others just say they like me as a person as I’m calm yet passionate and I spark an inner drive for them to cook.
9. Local is always lekker; what is your favourite local dish?
Many, hard to chose but I’d go for my boerie bobotie (also available in my cookbook, My Table)
10. What’s next for Siba Mtongana?
Touring the USA the day after the Delicious Festival as I’ve been invited to be a key note speaker in Las Vegas to a Stop Hunger Now event.
11. The Jackson 4 are headlining this year’s Delicious Festival, if you had the opportunity what would you cook for them?
I’ll first do an in depth research as to what kind of food they like and don’t like and if they have any allergies to any foods. Then I create a menu with a few South African ingredients for them to cook. I always first do my research before cooking for anyone because there is nothing more embarrassing than to offer the best cut of meat to pescatarian or vegan!
12. What is your favourite Food Network show?
As Cheesy as it may sound – we love watching Siba’s Table with the kids. We love it especially my little ones! Lonwabo calls everything that is delicious VaVaVoom – which is so cute. I also like the Man Fire Food.
13. What is your favourite Travel Channel show?
Bizarre Foods 🙈
With it being Heritage Day in South Africa on Saturday, 24 September, here are a couple of Siba’s recipes to help give inspiration to Braai Day.
Serves 8 with a little leftover
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
2 L water
2 T chicken stock powder
5 cups maize meal (white star)
2 T melted butter
1 T butter
375g/ 1 ½ packs of bacon
2 finely chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 green peppers, finely chopped
4 T parsley, chopped
4 T coriander, chopped
- Mix the cold water with stock powder to make a stock and bring to the boil.
- Then Whisk in the maize meal, adding a little at a time, whisk continuously to remove any lumps.
- Now using a wooden spoon. stir, beating the pap against the pan until it comes together. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Stir again and cook for another 20 minutes until cooked.
- Add butter to sauté pan and cook the bacon, onions and garlic for 5 minutes over a high heat, until the fat is rendered over. Add the herbs and stir.
- Add the bacon and vegetable mix to the pap and stir in.
- Transfer into a baking tin and press down until even. Cut into round shapes using cookie cutters and set aside in a warm place until serving time.
Tip: The bottom of the pan must form a tortilla like shell and leave the pan clean underneath – that you can enjoy with jam or even a savoury spread! Its delicious and quite a treat.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes 8 kebabs, serving 1 per person
4 sirloin steaks
6 Turkish dried apricots or normal ones if you can’t find, cut in half lengthwise (milder flavour and not as sour as regular ones -in fact are a little sweet)
1 large red peppers
8 metal skewers
- First prick meat right through. Cut the steaks lengthwise and across three times so each steak yields eight pieces.
- Now cut the apricots in half lengthwise and cube the peppers and onions to the same size as the meat cubes and apricots.
- Thread four meat pieces alternating with red pepper, onion and apricot to make a Sosatie. Place in the marinade and allow it to rest in it for at least 2 hours.
- Grill on a pan heated with oil for 8-10 minutes for a medium rare, turning continuously. Rest the meat for at least 5 minutes before serving it.
Beautiful Beet Salad
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes
Serves up to 10
6 beetroots, thoroughly washed
2 sticks of celery (or half pack) cut in sticks on long angle one-inch-long and ¼ inch wide
2 x 140 g goats milk cheese log
100 g pistachio nuts, finely chopped
100 g watercress, stems removed
70 g micro herbs – Crimson
ClemenGold juice 2 T
Lemon juice 2 T
Wholegrain mustard 1 t
White wine vinegar 2 t
Olive oil 2 T
- Place the beet in water and cover with water. Cook for 20 minutes until cooked through. Rinse over cold water to cool down.
- Peel off the skins (with gloves on to prevent having purple pink hands) and thinly slice (preferable using a mandolin. Chill.
- Meanwhile, slice the celery, chop the pistachio nuts finely. Then cut the goat’s milk cheese log into thick slices, shape into rounds and roll them in the nuts.
- Arrange the salad on a platter then mix the dressing. Drizzle over the salad and garnish with crimson micro herbs.