The Food Network (DStv channel 175)
The Food Network (DStv channel 175)

Chef Nti and Chef Katlego Mlambo take over The Food Network (DStv channel 175)

South African excellence is on the menu this March as Food Network (DStv channel 175) brings us Street Food In Africa with Chef Nti and Inside Job with Chef Katlego Mlambo

Local treats are on the menu for March on The Food Network (DStv channel 175). 2 brand-new series will be introducing brilliant South African chefs – Chef Nti (Nthabiseng Ramaboa) and Katlego Mlambo – and a true taste of local food to the entire world. Their shows are a revelation for South African foodies, too. Both chefs are going beyond bobotie to introduce us to the authentic flavours, from the vibrant streets, to high-end dining innovation, in the modern South African food scene.

Both Katlego’s Inside Job (from Saturday, 13 March) and Chef Nti’s Street Food In Africa (from Wednesday, 17 March) were filmed in studio in Dubai in the midst of lockdown in 2020 (in fact, their first meeting with the Discovery executives happened in Dubai in March 2020), so rather than being a scenic travel series with a hint of flavour, these shows are fully focussed on the recipes and dishes themselves… and on the chefs’ remarkable presence in the kitchen. They’re worth slowing down for and savouring.

Imagine if you could get 1-on-1 training with 1 of South Africa’s world-class chefs. If they could show you, step by step, how they blend and build their flavours and prepare their best dishes. And as a bonus, instead of being rushed on the job in a sweaty, hectic kitchen, you could be “at home” with them in a quiet space where you could appreciate all their anecdotes about their cooking experiences, along with their loving talks about local ingredients and South African food heritage, too. And now stop imagining, because here it is.

Watch The Food Network Watch Inside Job

Inside Job

Chef Katlego Mlambo is hot stuff on the SA food scene thanks to his position as head chef at The Marabi Club in Johannesburg. Whether it’s intimate dinners or a banquet for 500 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History in Washington DC (where both former US President Barack Obama and media mogul Oprah Winfrey enjoyed his chakalaka at the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebrations in 2019), Katlego can take charge of it all. For Katlego, a chef is someone who can turn food into happiness.

Katlego’s Inside Job kitchen set has a dark, intimate glamour to it and it’s the perfect frame for Chef Katlego in his leather apron, flexing those tattooed arms as he prepares his dishes with calm competence. As he cooks, he’ll chat to viewers about home-grown South African ingredients, and his experiences with local fine dining. Inside Job showcases his fun side, too. Chef Katlego’s kitchen has a secret room where he’ll take us for a chat now and then while the food is bubbling away. There he talks about his other great love, music. And he’ll treat us to his favourite playlists.

Whatever he makes, chef Katlego will show you how to plate it with flair and present food that gives that 5-star restaurant feel.

“A Chef must think like a scientist, organise like an accountant, plate like an artist, and cook like a grandma,” classically trained (at the Silwood School in Cape Town) Katlego insists on his Instagram account. And when it comes to cooking like a grandma, Katlego knows what he’s talking about because his own granny was his first teacher in the kitchen, and to his mind, still the maker of the world’s most delicious food.

Street Food In Africa

Chef Nti has it all – immaculate taste in funky African fashion (just check out her Instagram for a visual feast), a new cookbook (Chef Nti – My Modern African Kitchen, published 2019), her own range of sauces and spice blends, and her own restaurant, The Taste Kitchen in Maboneng, which specialises in both South African heritage food and fusion dishes with world cuisine. She has lived everywhere from Soweto, to Italy to Los Angeles, and studied at the Sunninghill branch of the International Hotel School, in joburg.

In her show Street Food In Africa, Nti brings viewers local specialties from around South Africa and the rest of the continent. These are the dishes and snacks that keep us moving and humming through the day. As she prepares something like a Gatsby (the soft white bread roll stuffed to the gills with slap chips and everything else you can lay your hands on, from pink polony to masala steak, to curried fish, all dripping with sauce and achar), Chef Nti explains how this speciality differs from region to region, and reveals which version she is making, and what elements make it unique. It’s not a fancified version of the dish, either. Chef Nti prepares it as you’d buy it on a street corner, then lays into the end product with a big bite.

Street Food In Africa is filmed in a light-filled, homey space that forms the perfect frame for both Chef Nti’s beautiful African style and her charming personality. She cooks with ease as she sways through her space, cooking and singing little snatches of made up tunes to the food as she cooks.

Like Katlego, Chef Nti’s first teacher in the kitchen was her grandmother, who taught her not just skills in the kitchen, but how to show love and generosity through preparing food. And by spotlighting street food, she hopes to bring attention and some appreciation to the women who make every day delicious. “This is my own little way of celebrating these strong women who go unrecognised ko kasi – think lo mama who sells aMagwinya (vetkoek) ko 16 Alex, 6am she’s there ready to serve – and we all line up for breakfast… and she’s more consistent than most 5-star restaurants – she’s never out of stock,” says Chef Nti.

“Sharing a meal has always been deeply rooted alongside sharing stories, cultural experiences and traditions. As the world adapts to new practices and ways of being, the common denominator remains our love for food and experiences with those we care about,” says Henry Windridge, Senior Director: Marketing, Digital and Creative at Discovery Inc. “While much has changed in the world in recent months, the power of food and how we connect over a plate has not. We’re sure viewers will be as captivated by the flair and charisma of both chefs as they welcome them into their homes this March.”

Watch Inside Job S1 from Saturday, 13 March on The Food Network (DStv channel 175) at 19:00 and on Catch Up

Watch Street Food In Africa S1 from Wednesday, 17 March on The Food Network (DStv channel 175) at 19:55

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