‘OUR CHRISTMAS IS A MIX OF CULTURES’
JOÃO DA FONSECA, 30, known as J’something, is a musician, foodie, and judge on My Kitchen Rules SA. He lives in Parkview with wife Coco and their two-year-old son. He runs his own restaurant, Something’s Cooking by J.
Host or guest? I’m the host. My wife sighs because she knows it’s more work, but I love cooking for people.
Planner or panicker? Planner – you have to be in the restaurant business, and when planning a celebration, too.
Festive traditions? Because I work during the season, we do Christmas in January. I invite loved ones to our house – usually about 20 people. Of course, it’s centred on food. With my Portuguese roots and my wife’s Tswana heritage, we’ll have traditional duck rice, and pap and chakalaka. It’s a mix of cultures.
Favourite Christmas treat? A creamy custard dessert I call ‘Chama por mim’. My aunt used to make it the day before Christmas, and my brother would sneak into the kitchen to eat spoonfuls from the bowl when we were little. It’s now my specialty, and I guard it until it’s served.
Christmas decor? We make the tree look beautiful. But nothing too over the top – you can still see bits of green.
Tipple of choice? In the middle of summer, nothing beats a refreshing G&T.
Fondest Christmas memory? When we were kids, my brother, cousins and I would try to stay up for as long as we could on the 24th, waiting for Santa.
The moment you dread? I’m sad at the end, when everyone goes home.
What gets you in the festive mood? Good music. In the day, we’ll have jazzy, instrumental festive tunes, then swap to soulful, mid-tempo house come evening.
Tip for entertaining? Don’t worry about plating things perfectly – less is more.
‘It just wouldn’t be the same without my creamy dessert’
Check out J’something’s recipe for Portuguese duck rice at womanandhomemagazine.co.za >>