Celebs become pot stirrers

2011-03-30 11:33
Siba wants to get you into her kitchen.

A new local cooking and lifestyle TV series sees Drum Magazine food editor Sibahle Mtongana showing off her culinary skills with some of SA’s well-known personalities. 

Mtongana (26), a former East London native, has cooked with many of SA’s top celebrities. Now she's making her TV debut with her own show, Cooking with Siba, and is very excited to be sharing her love of food and celebrities with South Africans.

“Ever since I can remember I’ve loved to cook. Growing up, my siblings and I all took turns to cook at home and I’ve always wanted to work with food all my life. I enjoy cooking with celebrities and this show will give viewers an insight into the celebrities’ favourite food dishes as well as me giving cooking tips on how they can lead a healthy lifestyle too,” she said.

Mtongana said the studio kitchen is customised to her personality with styling elements from Sophiatown and the jazz era. 

A sheep's head...

“It's Siba’s kitchen and each week we have a special guest that will come to visit. I also have a very special meal that I prepare for this guest – it will either be some of the guest’s favourite meals (we've done our research), or something from their place of origin (eg pap & marogo from the Free State, sheep’s head from Eastern Cape, etc) with which I will surprise the guest,” she explained.

Mtongana said the show, which started filming in late 2010, was inspired by Drum magazine's weekly food features.

“The show is a great platform for celebrities to be featured and for me to also educate people about the kitchen and food in general. Cooking is something I enjoy doing and working with the stars in the series was a real highlight for me.”

Star quality

Some of the celebs featured on the show include Eastern Cape-born singer Simphiwe Dana, actor Kenneth Nkosi, TV presenter Doris Msibi and musician Stoan Seate.

She said shooting the series was nerve-wracking at times but once the cameras rolled, the nerves melted away.

“What was great was that I’d worked with some of these celebrities prior to filming the show, so I had camaraderie with most of them and we both could be relaxed on air. Also I had to not only chat with the celebrities and cook with them but also engage with the viewers – something I learnt a great deal about throughout the filming of the series. ”

One of the celebrities she enjoyed working with most was singer Seate. “That episode is going to be such a hot one,” she teased. She added that one of the inspirational moments of filming the series occurred when Msibi (host of Forgive and Forget on e.tv) gave her “some good advice”.

“Doris basically said that now that I am on TV, young girls are looking up to me and I should ensure that whatever I do, I am a good role model to them. She encouraged me to continue in what I am doing and advised me on how to inspire young girls out there as well.”

Master juggler

Mtongana, who recently got married, said the hardest part of the show was planning everything “in such a short space of time”.

“I was planning my wedding, doing my day job and planning a TV show all in the space of 3-4 weeks, so it was quite intense. But I do admit, I loved the adrenaline and I was able to thrive on camera when it came to working according to a tight schedule.”

So which celebrity would she like to cook with next? “I think it would be fun to cook with Julius Malema,” she laughs. “I’d cook him some tripe for dinner, just for the fun of it.”

Cooking with Siba airs Monday nights on Mzansi Magic on DStv (Channel 107) at 19:30.

Clayton Morar is a celebrity autograph hunter and blogger. See his exploits at www.claytonmorar.com

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