The read­ers’ choice Kamini Pather

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glamour Health -

Some of my ear­li­est child­hood mem­o­ries in­volve food, and my grand­mother and mother were al­ways in the kitchen, with food bring­ing us to­gether,” says chef and SAFTA award-win­ning TV host Kamini Pather.

But it was only when she left her home in Dur­ban to study copy­writ­ing in Cape Town that the 32 year old started cook­ing her­self. “I had my own kitchen for the first time and I wanted to ex­per­i­ment, so I be­gan googling, ‘What’s the most dif­fi­cult recipe?’ and made things like choux pas­try. I wanted to push the bound­aries,” she says.

This led Kamini to au­di­tion for sea­son two of Masterchef SA in 2013. “For the first test, I pre­pared yo­ghurt panna cotta with curry fruit salad and hon­ey­comb tu­ile. Af­ter it was tasted at Cape Town’s Cul­li­nan Ho­tel, I was told that I’d made the top 100. Three chal­lenges later, I was in the fi­nal 16.

“I didn’t ex­pect to get that far, but knew if I was go­ing to do it, I had to do it prop­erly. But it’s just as stress­ful as it looks – early morn­ings, high pres­sure and work­ing six days a week. It was sur­vival of the fittest.”

And Kamini did more than sur­vive – she won. “It was sur­real, and the win opened up a new world to me, from do­ing de­mos at ex­pos to in­spir­ing peo­ple to cook.”

But her big­gest dream was to do her own TV show, and that’s how Girl Eat World came to be. “I met with blog­gers from 10 cities in the world, and they be­came my in­sider guides, show­ing the view­ers and me their cul­tures and coun­tries through food.”

Not only was the show a hit in SA, with a SAFTA win for best magazine show, but it was also picked up by the Food Net­work, Net­flix US and TVO in Canada. “We’re go­ing to start film­ing the se­cond sea­son at the end of the year,” says Kamini.

Next for the foodie? “I’m de­vel­op­ing a range of pots and work­ing on a book. It will in­clude recipes, but it’s a big­ger story about the way that food re­flects our ex­pe­ri­ences.

“Food has al­lowed me to live my dreams, face my fears and im­merse my­self in dif­fer­ent cul­tures. Through cook­ing I’ve found a very true part of my­self.”

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