Celeb chef Siba Mtongana on her fave place to eat out & more

Celebrity chef Siba Mtongana has gained a global following; she's particularly popular in the US, Italy and Poland. File photo.
Celebrity chef Siba Mtongana has gained a global following; she's particularly popular in the US, Italy and Poland. File photo.
Image: Supplied

What indulgence would you never forgo?

I adore a fresh loaf of good-quality bread – it is my weakness. And a little knob of butter goes a long way.

Who is your design icon?

Laduma Ngxokolo of MaXhosa by Laduma, for sure! I’m obsessed with all things local, and in the design space Ngxokolo is making waves abroad with his gorgeous designs inspired by the patterns, colours, and vibrancy of my own tribe, the Xhosa clan.

Tell us about your top beauty balms.

I was blessed with good skin, so I keep my beauty routine fairly simple. My hands, however, take a beating in the kitchen, so I use nourishing, natural, homemade scrubs and oils to rescue them.

The tech gadget couldn't you live without?

Wireless headphones. I spend so much time on the phone – catching up with family while on the road, doing interviews, and running my business – that hands-free earphones are a dream come true.

Tell us about a piece of clothing that you instantly loved, bought and still have in your wardrobe years later.

A pair of shoes that I bought with my first pay cheque: a classic pair of gorgeous leather brogues, which are back in fashion – to my delight.

Your drink of choice?

I’ve always loved teas, and I am warming to coffee culture. I enjoy the idea of a grab-and-go, and the fast pace of the urban coffee dweller.

All-time favourite place to eat out?

Locally, Thali [Chef Liam Tomlin’s Indian restaurant in Cape Town] is my all-time favourite. It offers exceptionally flavoursome food, a vibrant environment, great service and  great value for money. What more could you want?

What's on your playlist?

I spend quite a lot of free time listening to podcasts. I enjoy business-leadership and spiritual- and emotional-growth-themed podcasts.

[When it comes to music, I love] Michael Bublé, but who doesn’t? We are all big fans at home, including the kids!

Your top TV show?

Lately I haven’t had much free time, but Suits can eat up a whole day without my even realising it. I also love anything food-related, and war movies.

What makes you the happiest?

My family, of course. I am blessed beyond measure. And creating – be it through recipes, content, or new pathways for business ventures. I love seeing things grow from nothing through a vision and some really hard work.

Tell us about the last travel destination that knocked your socks off.

I recently spent two weeks in Australia, between Melbourne and Sydney, and I just loved every minute. The food culture is vibrant, explorative and exciting; the people are friendly; and the country is just beautiful, with lots to see and do. It reminded me a lot of home.

Who is your dream dinner-party guest (dead or alive)?

Tata, our late president Nelson Mandela. He is my true hero.

What's next on your must-have list?

I’m in the process of getting myself new gas stoves: one for my personal kitchen and one for the Innovation Kitchen, where all my recipe testing happens.

Name some of your fridge and trolley essentials.

The first thing to go onto my grocery list is gorgeous, fresh seafood; it is my absolute favourite and a staple in the Mtongana household – even the children love it. And you’ll always find sumptuous fresh fruit and greens in my fridge. They remind me of home in the Eastern Cape.

What rejuvenates you?

Nothing beats a spa day. It’s a great way to restart the engines and get yourself back to a state where you can function at full capacity. My husband, Brian, often treats me to spa days. The spa at the One&Only in Cape Town is one of my favourites.

This article was originally published on Wanted Online. Visit wantedonline.co.za for the best in luxury lifestyle news.


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