Cooks and wannabe cooks have never had it so good. South Africa’s (and the world’s) best and most charismatic chefs and home cooks have left their restaurant kitchens or come out publicly due to the global lockdown and have turned to social media to share their cooking wisdom and experiences. Here are some of our favourites to follow.
@davidhiggschef is one of South Africa’s most well-known chefs, and the co-owner of two of its top restaurants, Saint and Marble, both located in Johannesburg. He previously has also had a turn as a TV celebrity. But during South Africa’s lockdown Higgs has become the one to watch daily, and more than once a day, as he dispenses kitchen advice, shows you how to cook recipes from his cookbook Mile 8 (a must-buy, plus proceeds go to the restaurants’ staff fund) and even suggests a dish from the ingredients in your fridge.
His rugged good looks of course add to his charm, although we have started to watch him as much for his great techniques and ease with sharing them as we have for his rapidly deteriorating lockdown fashion sense.
If you are looking for good home brewing recipes Chef Higgs has also been experimenting with his own ginger beer, under the cover of darkness of course as this country is currently under prohibition (until June 1, 2020). He can teach you how to make a brilliant omelette, fry a cauliflower steak, poach an egg and create a Neapolitan-style pizza a-la-Saint (for this he enlisted help). In May Higgs announced the launch of his You Tube channel, Dave’s Kitchen.
Among the content to be showcased on the channel will be his 84 cooking videos produced during lockdown, an amazing collection of easy-to-make recipes. Dave’s Kitchen on You Tube will also support Marble and Saint’s staff fund
“It’s been an incredible experience getting to show people the dishes I grew up with, and the classic ones that I’ve been taught over the years – and the best part is, it’s now inspiring other people to experiment with home-cooking,” he says. “The channel will highlight local ingredients and suppliers, and also incorporate aspects of local fashion, music and art – something I am really excited about.” We suggest you subscribe immediately.
Lebo Lukewarm aka The Disaster Chef
Not so much a chef as a master of cooking entertainment we have become gripped by photographer and cinematographer @lebolukewarm‘s kitchen antics and his attempts to master this chef thing.
Having dubbed himself ‘The Disaster Chef’ there’s something quite comforting about watching someone make plenty of kitchen mistakes while everyone else is turning out Masterchef creations, and yet stay chipper and upbeat. He’s warm and funny and utterly watchable and apart from his kitchen escapades, we are also great fans of his morning dance routines.
Multi-award-winning chef and one of the world’s top female chefs @chanteldartnall heads up fine dining restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, situated in a conservancy less than an hour from Johannesburg. On Instagram she is incredibly down to earth and has been sharing homely and comforting recipes for her granny’s banana bread, cauliflower soup and posh breakfast oats, all served up with her trademark smile.
Miss Lucky Pony aka Angie Batis Durrant
Blogger, photographer, baking fanatic and mom of two of the cutest kids @miss_luckypony Angie Batis Durrant has been cooking up a storm since lockdown. Her banana bread just about broke the internet while her Easter baking hit all the right notes.
She’s smart and sassy and takes the most fantastic photos. An extra bonus is that together with her husband Shane (singer in the band Desmond and the Tutus) she’s started sharing the most popular recipes from the delicious Asian eatery The Good Luck Club, that they founded and used to own.
Online cooking lessons with Mrs Fong
Suyen Thornhill runs the brilliant weekly Asian pop-up restaurant @Chez_Fong in Houghton. During lockdown she has taken her cooking expertise online and is now offering Asian cooking lessons on Zoom. From how to make dumplings from scratch to Thai fishcakes and dipping sauces Mrs Fong is the one to watch. Course cost R100 for one and R300 for five lessons.
At home with Luke Dale Roberts of The Test Kitchen
Cape Town chef Luke Dale Roberts presides over a number of excellent restaurants, including The Test Kitchen which has made it more than once onto the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (ranked 22). As he puts it The Test Kitchen is a ‘gourmet laboratory’. It’s one of those places you have to book for months in advance to enjoy a multi-course fine dining menu that will stay in memory long after the last morsel has been consumed.
On Instagram at @thetestkitchen this amazing chef is incredibly down to earth and takes you with him into the kitchen and out to the braai creating simple and hearty dishes while introducing you to different members of the family who all take part in the cooking.
Cooking with The Glam Foodie
Without doubt one of the most glamorous food personalities on Instagram culinary artists Charmaine Ramalope-Makhubela @glamfoodiesa is all about style, from her impeccable dress sense to her beautiful plating techniques. While everyone else is in their lockdown sweatpants Charmaine consistently slays and adds flare to everything she does in the kitchen. Her dishes are innovative and in particular we love her take on #MeatFreeMonday. Look out for her recipes for Vegetarian Bolognese and her chickpea and coriander burgers.
Following The Joburg Foodie
Steven Steinfeld @thejoburgfoodie is always one to watch and particularly if you are a fan of pairing wine with your food, and if you want to know who is opening what or launching something new. A friend of chefs and sommeliers he has plenty to share about South Africa’s restaurant, chef and wine scene.
Lockdown has seen him resort to baking chocolate chip cookies and other treats (recipes aren’t shared but we are sure they will be if you ask). His instagram feed is a beauty (so perfect for those who love food, and prefer not to cook it) and we are not sure it’s a dish worth travelling for unless thejoburgfoodie has captured it.
Welcome to Our Social Kitchen
We love this initiative on Facebook that brings together chefs from all over South Africa to welcome you into their kitchen for a Facebook Live demonstration. You can pre-buy the basket of goods needed to make the recipe from www.oursocialkitchen.co.za‘s site or simply watch the live stream. It’s an intimate kitchen series and its full of delicious turns.
Host Arnold Tanzer (a chef, consultant and mastermind of Masterchef SA) and chef friends have created a space to give chefs a chance to do what they do best even at this strangest of times. Some of our favourite shows so far have been The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa’s Jane-Therese Mulry cooking with African heritage ingredients, Sous Chef at Intercontinental Sandton Hotel and Towers Fanie Sebapo’s chicken and Pretoria’s best Italian chef Forti Mazzone sharing a fish dish.