Name: Nthabiseng Ramaboa (Chef Nti)
Q. How would you describe your style of cooking? What inspires you?
A: I enjoy making honest food, what most refer to as bistro style food – food with a lot of heart. My style is ‘special meals using everyday ingredients’ – I’m about celebrating South Africa’s culinary heritage. And this I do by giving a fresh twist to our traditional favorite food. My inspiration is my mama D, my mom. Growing up she was so creative in the kitchen, she would make the most of the little we had.
Q: Describe a typical day in your kitchen?
A: I don’t have a typical day, it changes from week to week. The only constant is my music, I’m always jamming and getting down to good music – it’s always a party when I’m in the kitchen.
Q: What have been your proudest moments as a chef?
A: My proudest moment for 2017 has to be my recipe book collaboration with Albany bread with their Altima bread range.
Q: What has been your biggest learning curve?
A: My biggest learning curve has to be with live TV experience with Sunrise on eTV. I started doing live TV with very little experience and I had to sink or swim. And thank goodness, I’m still swimming – from June 2016 to date it’s been a fun ride…
Q. What are your favourite ingredients? And, 1 ingredient that we will never find in your kitchen?
A: That’s easy, it has to double cream yoghurt, thyme and garlic. I love Greek yogurt because it’s so diverse as an ingredient, one could use it for breakfast, make dessert with it or use it as dressing for your salad – it’s just endless! And of course, garlic and thyme just simply work with everything. You definitely won’t find Truffle oil in my pantry – I have no palate for it. I’ve tried but it’s just not my thing.
Q. What is your favourite dish that you enjoy cooking?
A: Its simple for me – I enjoy cooking but I love doing life more. So my favorite food always has to be nutritionally balanced food and that cooks really quickly. Right now, I’m enjoying fresh salads. Its summer, the body craves for it. Ahh but I would take Sea Bass over everything – I’m all for that superb sweet, textured fish with a crunch.
Q: Six people (dead or alive) who you would like to cook for?
A: I would like to cook for Kris Jenner, Carol Bouwer, Riky Rick, Trevor Noah, Nigella Lawson and Bethenny Frankel.
I am so inspired by their stories and would love to sit down and talk to them about life, family and everything in between.
Q. What trends / challenges are restaurants facing in 2017?
A: The trend in the food space is that food has become the newest cool thing. Look at the rise of the food markets around South Africa. People are also becoming a lot more health conscious and are more demanding of quality and service. The challenge for restaurant’s is that they are succumbing to the pressure to be ‘creative’ and thereby prioritize aesthetics at the expense of quality.
Q. The #1 thing that annoys you in restaurants?
A: I get annoyed when the waiter can’t ‘sell’ me their menu. I always look so forward to enjoying their menu presentation. When you get a good waiter, you could almost taste the food as they present the menu to you! I love it!!