With there being so much diversity in the people that inhabit South Africa, the country boasts of having a very diverse cuisine that is made up of both indigenous foods and those inherited from colonization and immigration from Europe and Asia. Foods like the popular bobotie to the bunny chow, braai, chakalaka, and biltong, are only but a few examples of the very best foods the country has to offer. Thanks to this, people like Siba Mtongana have been able to make a living out of fashioning out specific recipes to make these same dishes in a more appealing and mouthwatering manner. Here is a look at the life of the celebrity chef as well as a few details about her culinary skills.
Unlike Most, Siba Mtongana Knew From The Start She Would Be A Chef
Sibahle Mtongana was welcomed to the world on the 10th of December 1984. She is the youngest of six children to her parents; her mother, Noliza, is a retired teacher and her father, Mncedisi Mnwana, a now-retired leather goods manufacturer worker.
Siba, who was raised in the town of Mdantsane, East London, South Africa, was said to have been very interested in cooking from a very young age when she began spending time in the kitchen as her mother was preparing food. By the time she came of age, she wasted no time starting to cook dinner for the family.
Another factor that influenced her love for cooking was her mother’s health condition. Noliza was diagnosed with diabetes and as it is with patients of such illness, healthy food is mandatory. This spurred young Siba to pay extra attention to details in the kitchen, especially as regards to food choices, best ingredients combinations, kitchen hygiene, etc.
After having completed her basic education, Siba Mtongana decided to pursue her interests in the culinary world by enrolling into Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town where she studied for a degree in Food and Consumer Sciences, specializing in Food Science and Nutrition.
Here’s How She Earned International Recognition
Siba continued to hone her talent in the years after leaving school, working as a food editor for Drum Magazine. By 2010, things began to take shape as she landed a show called Cooking with Siba which aired on the Africa Channel. She used her own original recipes on the show to cook meals that offered traditional taste but with an international twist. She chose this approach in order to attract a foreign audience that could also replicate the cooking in their own countries.
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Really enjoyed the process of making traditional dishes this weekend which evoked a lot of childhood memories… Township 'scones' or referred to as amapotch, maskhosana… and homemade ginger beer… iGemmer, gemmerbier or sometimes called iGinger inspired by @brianmtongana's grandmother, uMakhumalo or Mama as she's affectionately known in the community… The addition of fresh ginger and extra ground ginger adds to the spicy kick and 'kwetsa' and the smell of the fresh lemongrass on the drink which is another Sibalicious twist takes it to another level👌🏽🌿😋🍹🍍Also added yeast to fast track the fermantation process which is optional. Hope you enjoyed the tutorials and recipes.♥️ . . Please bring your glass! I'm now serving💁🏽♀️… Cheers! 🥂 . . . #QuarantineWithSiba #traditionalfood #stayhome #staysafe #homecookingmadeeasy #Sibalicious
This formula proved to be working as Siba Mtongana would soon grab the attention of the Food Network who quickly signed her up and debuted the show Siba’s Table in 2013. With viewers in over one hundred and fifty countries around the world, particularly in the United States of America where it was the first South African show on US TV, the chef became an instant sensation as her show enjoyed huge success.
Awards and Achievements
Siba Mtongana has taken home three prestigious Galliova Awards. She has also won a South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) in the category of Best Variety Lifestyle for her former cooking show Cooking with Siba in 2013. In the same year, she was honored by different newspapers and magazines, including the Mail and Guardian Newspaper, Cosmopolitan SA Magazine, and Destiny Magazine, for being exceptional.
In 2014, she was honored by O Magazine and City press as one of the most influential African women of the year and for putting South Africa on the global map through her work respectively. The popular South African chef is the patron of Foodbank South Africa. The organization aims to fight hunger and malnutrition as well as helping those affected with HIV/AIDS.
Unveiling Siba Mtongana’s Recipes
According to Siba, her kitchen never runs out of onions, garlic, and ginger which all provide rich flavor and is beneficial to the health.
Over the years, she has come up with over 200 recipes that these ingredients have contributed to their rich flavor, including for dishes like Pesto chicken penne, Chakalaka, Cape Town Tarts, as well as Ginger and Coriander Corn Salad.
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Dinner we had tonight… it's as easy as pie and absolutely Sibalicious🔥😋😋😋 Recipe below: Siba’s Chicken Pie Chicken pie filling ) 250 g bacon rashes or 250 g exotic mushrooms 15 ml butter 4 cloves garlic – use half 4-6 chicken fillets, cut into small equal size strips 5 ml flaked sea salt to season 30 ml olive oil 2 medium red onion or 1 large white onion, finely diced 20 ml water, optional 2 leeks, thoroughly rinsed and sliced 15 ml good quality medium curry powder 20 ml korma or butter chicken taste 5 ml mixed herbs 30 ml fresh thyme 20 ml tomato paste 325 ml water mixed with 15 ml stock powder 250 g cream cheese tub Pie crust 60 ml cake flour, for dusting 2 x 250 g short crust pastry, 1 egg, separated 30 ml milk Method 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C and place a pie dish on top of a baking tray. For the filling: in another baking tray, place the bacon strips in one layer and roast for 15 minutes until crispy and the fat is rendered (if using mushrooms season and saute them in a pan in a little oil). Remove from oven (or pan for mushrooms) and cut into strips; pour the fat into a large saucepan. 2. Season the raw chicken strips with the salt and add to the pan in batches; cooking for about 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add some more oil into the pan and saute the onions for 4 minutes until soft, translucent and slightly caramelized. Add some water to help cook a little faster. 3. Add the garlic along with the korma paste, curry powder, mixed herbs and half of the fresh thyme., stirring continuously. Add the leeks and stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Pour in the stock and add the cream cheese and cook until it melts. 4. Add the cooked chicken with its juices along with half the bacon or mushrooms and rest of the thyme leaves. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until slightly thickened and for the chicken to absorb the flavours of the sauce. This also ensures that all the chicken strips are cooked through. …Recipe continued below in comments 👇🏾 . . . #QuarantineWithSiba #SibasChickenPie #myelica #myelba #elica #elba
Having created so many different recipes, the celebrity chef has been able to publish a number of recipe books. Her first recipe book featured a combination of one hundred and twenty recipes from the first two seasons of her famous Food Network series. She further has multiple recipes for chicken and salad that would never allow you to lose interest in any of these foods.
Meet The Celebrity Chef’s Lovely Family
Siba Mtongana is married to Brian Mtongana. Her husband is a graphics designer who graduated from Durban University of Technology with a degree in graphics design in 2001 and has worked as the marketing head of design at the Woolworths Food Company. He also makes regular appearances on her food show – Siba Table – along with their kids.
They Dated For Eight Years Before Walking Down The Aisle
Though details of the couples’ relationship are almost a top-secret as Siba is popularly known for her career success rather than her family life, she, however, opened the lid on how she met her husband, Brian Mtongana, in an interview with TrueLove. The beautiful celebrity chef revealed that she and Brian met when she went to Cape Town for holidays in 2002 – she was 16 years old at the time. Brian lived in the complex she stayed during her visit and that was how they met and started dating.
They would go on to date for eight years before taking their marital vows in 2010. The union has been a blissful one and Siba attributes it to the respect she accords her husband in their marital relationship. Presently, Siba and Brian have four lovely kids – 2 boys and two girls – named Lonwabo, Lindamandla, BuhleNkosi, and Ntandoye Nkosi.