Sign up for a pop-up sup­per club, or go be­hind the scenes in a top restau­rant

Get out of your food com­fort zone and join them in Cape Town (or Joburg)

Getaway (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

‘Of­ten you’ll see some­one in pub­lic you think you’d like to get to know, but in a restau­rant one doesn’t go up to those in­di­vid­u­als and spark up a con­ver­sa­tion. What Third Cul­ture Ex­per­i­ment of­fers is that per­son from the restau­rant is ac­tu­ally sit­ting next to you,’ says Nob­hongo Gx­olo. Ev­ery month this Cape Town-based writer musters a group of strangers who have signed up for a din­ner – and hopes for the best. ‘They en­joy food I’ve pre­pared and have a good time con­nect­ing. I want peo­ple to walk away feel­ing ap­pre­ci­ated – not just in their tum­mies but their hearts too.’ Last year Nob­hongo ran a stall at the Street Food Fes­ti­val; this year she’ll be a guest speaker, shar­ing her ex­pe­ri­ences of run­ning a pop-up din­ing club. It’s worked out well. So far Nob­hongo, with help from friends, has hosted 30 ‘ex­per­i­ments’. She’s held her get­to­geth­ers at pri­vate homes, in an art gallery, at wine farms and two in Joburg. Dishes have ranged from co­conut chicken to chilli Amarula pork, but you’ll al­ways find her sig­na­ture home­made gin­ger beer on ev­ery menu. Since pop-up din­ing ar­rived in SA a few years ago, most events have been un­usual or gourmet feasts hosted by pro­fes­sional chefs. But it’s get­ting home­lier and more demo­cratic. Nob­hongo, who is not a trained chef but a true foodie, is in­spired by cook­ing shows, read­ing cook­books and ex­per­i­ment­ing in her kitchen. ‘Pop-ups have made dif­fer­ent kinds of food more ac­ces­si­ble,’ she says. ‘The food is taken to the peo­ple.’ Din­ners cost around R350 pp. Find out more and sign up on Face­book. Street Food Fes­ti­val, 2 – 3 Septem­ber in Cape Town (in­cludes a new night mar­ket) and 10 Septem­ber in Joburg. Tick­ets R100. street­food­fes­ti­val.co.za In Joburg, check out Mpho Masango’s themed Plump Kitchen pop-ups. Find it on Face­book

NOB­HONGO GX­OLO

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