BITES

Chef Sizo Henna has cooked for im­pres­sive peeps. Now you can en­joy his fare too

Getaway (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

The high-fly­ers’ pri­vate chef goes pub­lic

‘He loves salmon and fresh veg­eta­bles, and prefers his spinach pan-fried with red onions,’ says Sizo Henna. That’s our new pres­i­dent he’s speak­ing about. Henna of­ten catered events held by Cyril Ramaphosa when CR was still ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Shan­duka. Sizo has also cooked for Tokyo Sexwale, Ja­cob Zuma and the Reserve Bank’s Madoda Petros, and fur­ther afield for the Pol­ish pres­i­dent and White House rep­re­sen­ta­tives. This ac­cess to the high-fly­ers started after stock­bro­ker Andile Mazwai asked him to be his pri­vate chef. From there, the sought-after Sizo built up an im­pres­sive client list. A best-kept se­cret no more, he’s now shar­ing his culi­nary skill and pas­sion for food with the rest of us via a TV show called Rus­tic Chakula (on SABC 3) and by open­ing his first restau­rant in Rose­bank, Joburg. It seems the stars aligned for Sizo, as both projects came to fruition in Fe­bru­ary this year. Rus­tic Chakula, a decade in the mak­ing (it’s an idea he first had at chef school in Lon­don in 2004), is a mix of Pan-African travel, cook­ing, mu­sic and lifestyle – and celebri­ties, of course. He’s clearly com­fort­able with VIPs. Travel sparked Sizo’s ‘love af­fair’ with food, be­gin­ning with fam­ily hol­i­days (he grew up in Bisho in the East­ern Cape). ‘As a nine-year-old, my palate grew more re­fined the more I trav­elled. I could dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween an ostrich burger and a lamb burger. I knew that in the Karoo I’d eat foods such as koek­sis­ters and roost­erkoek made by a tan­nie.’ After study­ing in the UK, he trav­elled the world work­ing for a cater­ing firm and was ex­posed to Swiss, In­dian, French, Span­ish and Caribbean cui­sine, among oth­ers. He also picked up a love for wine. But for now, he’s keep­ing things sim­ple at his restau­rant, Blaque Wine Bar & Grill House. ‘The aim is to make guests feel as if they’re eat­ing in their own din­ing rooms,’ he says. ‘We have carved chicken, wooded trout, T-bone steaks grilled with gar­lic and thyme…’ • Find it at 142 Jan Smuts Av­enue. 076-989-4688

PURE STEAK (WITH SALAD, AND SOME SPINACH AND BUT­TER­NUT IN THE POTJIE)

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