The world’s foodie TV audiences have developed an appetite for our South African chefs.
Food Network South Africa’s local content is performing exceptionally well in international markets. Following in the footsteps of our beloved Jenny Morris and Siba Mtongana as well as Justin Bonello, Neill Anthony, Private Chef is next up to launch his show on DStv’s Food Network channel.
This new reality series provides a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a private chef in South Africa as he caters to the demands of his rich and famous clientele. The locations are visually spectacular and range from an oceanside villa, and a game farm, to a tiny galley kitchen aboard a yacht.
Anthony spent 10 years honing his skills in the professional kitchens of illustrious chefs Gordon Ramsay, Alyn Williams, Jerome Henry and Marcus Waering, where he cooked for some of the world’s superstars. He returned to Cape Town at the time of the 2010 World Cup and decided to become a personal chef, preparing restaurant quality meals for his clients in the comfort of their own homes.
“I like to entertain. I like to be entertained. And I like to eat really good food,” said Anthony at a media launch for his new show.
It’s easy to see why Food Network picked up the show that was previously flighted on free to air channel, SABC3. Anthony has great audience appeal – he’s young, affable, relaxed and engaging. Whether he’s cooking ham hock croquettes with truffled pea puree for SA rugby icon Francois Pienaar and his friends, or roast venison and banana and mango sorbet for an eccentric British IT millionaire, Anthony makes fine food preparation seem effortless and enjoyable.
He’s always keen to promote South African local and regional flavours and products to both his local and international guests. Emphatically not a fan of the word “deconstructed” when it comes to cooking, Anthony says he prefers to re-imagine and re-invent local dishes and influences and prepare them in original ways.
…cooking is not as hard as you make it out to be and that dinner parties, especially, are all about preparation…
“I take the best of the South African flavours and ingredients we have here, like our local venison and prepare them in a way that European guests recognise and appreciate. I’ll do a bobotie, but then serve it in a turmeric risotto ball with a raisin purèe,” said Anthony.
The key message that Anthony wants audiences to take away from his show is that “cooking is not as hard as you make it out to be and that dinner parties, especially, are all about preparation.”
“You’ll see throughout the episodes that I prep pretty much everything at home, then bring it through and finish it off. That’s the key to successful entertaining – take your food to a point in the preparation and then all you need to do when the guests arrive is finish it off,” he said.
The show offers something for every level of cooking ability and is not just for the fussy dinner party set. “The express meals that I cook for myself in each episode are simple and approachable,” said Anthony, who admittedly prefers eating less complicated dishes himself.
“I believe Mother Nature provides everything we need as chefs. We can only make it slightly better,” he said.
Neill Anthony Private Chef premiers on DStv’s Food Network Channel 175 on Thursday 7 April at 20:00 (double bill) and airs every Thursday from 20:00 to 21:00.
For recipes: Private Chef – Press Pack & Recipes
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