Renowned for its abundant wildlife, Mzansi’s menus often feature game meat. It is for this reason that award-winning chef Lorna Maseko this week prepares a delicious venison carpaccio and honey-inspired meal for entertainment lawyer Katlego Malatji in Homegrown Tastes South Africa.
Together, they not only discover the scenic Windy Brow Game Reserve in Cullinan, outside Pretoria, but also find food inspiration for the second episode of the new BBC Lifestyle show on DStv channel 174.
The ten-part series follows Maseko’s culinary expedition across the country. She is joined by a different guest in each episode and, together, they meet some of the chefs and foodies behind the very best street food and haute cuisine.
Maseko and Malatji meet two chefs, the venison expert Mandla Nontso and Alfred Malaka, who cooks up a feast using honey, venison and gin, the three hero ingredients picked for this week’s episode.
What is typical Mzansi food?
Nontso remarks that people often mistakenly assume that proudly South African food is just about braai meat. There are, in fact, many traditions and new trends influencing what ends up on our plates.
“Chocolate is becoming a good thing. We’ve [also] been abroad and local flavours, which are [influenced by] spices, are becoming a big thing. But also, people are going straight to their roots. We make things based on where we grew up.”Venison expert Mandla Nontso
Maseko and Malatji also visit the Bongi Bees honey farm in Pretoria East and Flowstone gin distillery at the Cradle of Humankind, north-west of Johannesburg. On this expedition they discover other must-have ingredients which ends up with Maseko cooking a sublime meal consisting of crusted carpaccio with honey vinaigrette, garlic and herb bruschetta and marinated olives, rounded off with and a honey and gin martini.
“I quite enjoyed our trip and our journey,” says Malatji. “It gave me flashbacks of my childhood with my family going to Kruger National Park, going out to Hwange [National Park in Zimbabwe], and all sorts of nature and game reserves. And so, to sort of pair that nostalgic experience with the actual food is quite exciting to me.”
Maseko says Homegrown Tastes South Africa celebrates “everything from the food, to the destinations, the chefs and the ingredients. It is everything I love in one package.”
- Catch new episodes of Homegrown Tastes South Africa on Wednesdays 20:00 on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174). The show is repeated on Thursdays and Fridays and also available on DStv Catch-up.
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