MY WORLD

SIBA MTON­GANA OF SIBA’S TA­BLE GIVES US A TASTE OF HER FASH­ION­ABLE LIFE WITH FOOD

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - MENU - AS TOLD TO LAUREN VO­GES

igrew up in a town­ship in East Lon­don, the youngest of six chil­dren. Mem­o­ries of my child­hood are filled with many happy foodie mo­ments. One of my ear­li­est is of vis­it­ing my grand­par­ents on their farm, and I can still see my cousins milk­ing the cows and smell the qunu pap we used to make with that milk.My love of food and the kitchen started way back then. I think I in­her­ited my love of cook­ing with fresh in­gre­di­ents from my mother. When I was lit­tle, she used to send me out into our veg­etable gar­den to pick onions, spinach and toma­toes for the evening meal. We were cook­ing ‘gar­den-to-ta­ble’ long be­fore it be­came fash­ion­able! I’ve had to limit my­self to a mini herb gar­den be­cause of the ef­fort that a full veg­etable gar­den re­quires but, if I could, I would have an en­tire farm. As a celebrity chef, I’ve been given many travel op­por­tu­ni­ties. Some of my top des­ti­na­tions are Por­tu­gal, for the friend­li­ness of the lo­cals and the beau­ti­ful ar­chi­tec­ture, Lon­don, for the fash­ion (and af­ford­able clothes), and Dubai, for the gen­eros­ity of the people.My next des­ti­na­tion will be Poland, I hope – ap­par­ently the people there love Siba’s Ta­ble. Lo­cally, Kitima in Hout Bay, Over­ture in Stel­len­bosch and the Pot Luck Club in Wood­stock are on my top-eater­ies list. In­ter­na­tion­ally, Soho House in Lon­don is one restau­rant I have to go back to. When it comes to mu­sic, I en­joy R&B, soul and the clas­sics. Afro’trac­tion and Richard Bona are among my most played choices now. I buy lots of cook­books and books on nu­tri­tion and health. In this in­dus­try, you have to keep up-to-date be­cause ideas on nu­tri­tion are ever chang­ing and there’s al­ways a new food trend. I grew up watch­ing UK home cook Delia Smith and I still adore her sim­plic­ity, but I’ve learnt to ap­pre­ci­ate more com­plex cook­ing. Ina Garten, the Bare­foot Contessa, is an­other favourite. I’m read­ing Co­conut Diet by Cherie Cal­bom, and I love cook­books and shows by Nigella Law­son, who makes home cook­ing so sexy and ap­peal­ing, and Jamie Oliver, who likes to do things dif­fer­ently. As a pre­sen­ter my­self, it’s im­por­tant for me to look good and be com­fort­able, but I can’t be too stylish; I don’t want people to be dis­tracted by what I’m wear­ing. Be­ing on TV has made me more con­scious of my choices. I like to think of my style as sim­ple with a touch of el­e­gance. Ear­rings and win­ter jack­ets are my weak­nesses. Zara is one of my ab­so­lute favourite shops. I love the bou­tiques in Kloof Street and A-List in Long Street. Nine West is my go-to store for a great pair of shoes. Since I have to mix com­fort and look­ing pre­sentable, I adore stylish flat shoes. I go for what I like, but if I need an opin­ion, I ask my hus­band – he’s far more stylish than I am. Ul­ti­mately I’m a foodie and not a fash­ion­ista….

Clock­wise from top left Celebrity chef Siba Mton­gana; pre­par­ing for a show; in­spi­ra­tion from chefau­thors; these shoes are comfy and good-look­ing; gar­den to ta­ble; pretty dé­cor ex­tras; Siba’s style – ‘sim­ple with a touch of el­e­gance’; a cor­ner of her work space; an old-school kitchen scale.

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