Food - Is it something you've always been passionate about?
Food has always played an integral part in my life and I don't just mean eating. Both my parents worked in the hospitality industry, so food and, most importantly, the quality of food, was always paramount. For me cooking, learning about the science behind food, as well as nutrition, came with age. Initially, I wanted to start a new hobby at home, given that music was quite taxing on me at the time, mentally and emotionally. I had absolutely no intention whatsoever to turn it into anything else other than a post on Instagram.
What's the synergy between food and music?
I believe they're both art forms and also, cooking and singing are both great forms of expression for me. I sing about what I feel and I cook dishes that mean something to me.
My Kitchen Rules South Africa (MKRSA) was a huge deal... How did that happen?
It was a massive moment in my career, without a doubt. I took it lightly in the beginning, thinking it was another gig, you know, but honestly, it's been one of the best things I've done in the entertainment industry. I was approached by M-Net and Endemol that they were doing this TV show My Kitchen Rules and not a word of a lie, at the time I was addicted to the Australian version. I'd turned down many TV opportunities because of Mi Casa and life and how little time I had already. But here was a show that was different and that was about me, a home cook. After many manipulations to my calendar and a lot of sacrifices and also, to be honest, a bit of selfishness, I decided the time was right for me to do this.
What are you loving the most about MKRSA?
If I have to be 100% honest with you, my favourite part of MKRSA was getting a new friend in David Higgs [chef, restaurateur and fellow judge]. He's somebody I regard as a great friend and also a mentor in an industry that I really know nothing about, but admire a lot.
How would you describe the food served at your restaurant?
You should just come to visit! Haha! It's a theme I call 'JaFroGuese' – elements of Japanese flavours and dishes with the main heart being founded in Portuguese and South African food. Just good food with a bit of a twist and not too fancy. I still have a lot to learn in the industry and the character of the restaurant will grow immensely in the months to come. Sun International is a great group and has some amazing individuals in it who are industry visionaries.
Who are you influenced by in the culinary world and in the world of music?
My mother and my upbringing, as well as David Chang, David Higgs, Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi have been huge culinary influences. In terms of music, I would say Craig David, Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, Michael Jackson, Babyface, and so on. That list is endless.
And your cookbook? That's pretty awesome!
I still get freaked out thinking about it as I never planned it. It evolved like the story in a weird sci-fi movie. But when everything started popping in the food world for me, I started to believe in the possibilities that people were throwing at me, like a TV show and/or a cookbook. At first, I thought all my Instagram followers were insane. Then I thought, hang on, I can actually do this. The power of people believing in you is incredible and something I'm grateful for every day.
You're so super busy, when and how do you relax?
When we were filming MKRSA, my life was absolutely mental. I didn't know whether I was coming or going. Here we were, shooting the biggest food show in the country and at the same time, I was releasing my band's album, Familia, which meant weekly gigs around the world to promote the music, while I was trying to run a restaurant back home. Yeah, that was insane. But now I'm back to my normal Mi Casa life and it feels so chilled. I feel like I have all the time in the world. As a matter of fact, I've started doing DIY projects around my house which I absolutely suck at but, I've always wanted to be a handyman. So I'm doing what I like to call JIY, which is helping me relax and makes me feel like a normal person in this crazy life. To unwind I also watch some cool series, I blog, cook and spend time with my family – the best thing ever.
What's the most challenging thing you've had to deal with in your career so far? And how did you overcome it?
A big challenge for me has been mental; it's a constant battle to try and figure out what the next move should be. I'm always asking myself if I'm still happy doing what I'm doing. My solution to this has been meditation and prayer.
Do you think the foodie in you would ever take over the muso in you?
Nope. Music is what makes my heart beat and sincerely happy. Food, I think, is a getaway from that – like a holiday is.
The ladies in the office are crushing on you big time (yes, we know you're married)! Please can you send them a special message?
I'm so blessed by everyone's support. I love you all so much because, honestly, the world revolves around love and if we could just love and support one another we would have a lot of happiness. I'm sorry I can't crush back on all of you but, you know, I gotta be that guy for my woman. Big hug.
Horak Corver also known as Traverate is a well-known Johannesburg influencer and currently the top Johannesburg Zomato reviewer/ foodie. Having written over 200 reviews of various restaurants in the city, one can tell he loves food and gives an objective opinion on quality and service. Needless to say, his images are highly aesthetically pleasing too.
Ranked second as a Johannesburg Zomato foodie, Carien Jakovljevic is definitely worth a follow as well. Her food and restaurant reviews aren't always rainbows and sunshine, like any good reviewer is she able to give an objective opinion about the food and restaurant based on her experience. It's a good idea to reference her reviews before visiting a restaurant you might be unsure about.
Heather Hook is a media personality, radio host, writer, social media collaborator and most importantly, ranked third on Zomato as a Johannesburg foodie. Although her food reviews are generally positive, her insight still gives you a good idea of the type of food and service to look forward to. Not only that, but the way she coveys her experience, you can even envision the décor setting of the restaurant itself.
The Jo'burg Foodie
When it comes to food, photographs and food staging, you'd swear The Jo'burg Foodie has credentials in each of those. His Instagram is absolutely tantalising, with images of gorgeous looking food, nifty restaurants and cool locations to get all this glorious food. If you don't already follow him, do it now.
Not only is J'Something here to serenade us with beautiful songs but the man cooks... and cooks well! His Instagram showcases his lifestyle in general but his food images do tend to get people particularly excited. If it's pleasing on the eyes, then surely it must be beyond pleasing on the tastebuds. Follow his cooking and eating adventures now if you don't already do so!
She's a foodie and she's glamorous – have you ever thought of a more fabulous combination? Glam Foodie showcases her food loving lifestyle on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. So, if you want to get a peek at some of Joburg's good food, wine, cocktails and all things glamorous, check out her Instagram page for some awesome foodie delights.
With their beautiful images and flawless interface, Jo'best is definitely one of the foodie blogs you should be following. Offering insight on nifty restaurants and yummy food to try (typically only the best of the city), you definitely won't regret having their blog on stand-by for a quick reference, review and of course, food porn. Yum.
Jozi Foodie Fix
Jozi Foodie Fix created by Thando Moleketi is one of the best blogs to visit if you want to have your foodie craving satisfied. Coupled with stunning food photography that might literally have you drooling at your computer screen, as well as food and restaurant reviews, Jozi Foodie Fix can definitely be a great reference to look up before going out for your next meal.
Just Puly Beast
Just Puly Beast created by Pulane Mota – brand influencer, Public Relations student and founder of Puly's Cupcakes – explores food, travels and fun times in and around Joburg. Naturally, as any foodie and food blogger has to have, Just Puly Beast has some mouthwatering food photographs that can be easily titled as food porn.
By Cleopatra Shava
Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.
Do you follow these foodies? Which one is your fave at the moment? Let us know below!
What Was It?
South Africa’s premier food and wine show brought us excellent wine, craft beer, delicious food and much, much more.
The event was bigger and better than ever before, and promises to boast one of the strongest chef lineups in years! The itinerary for this popular foodie event includes celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, food and wine tastings and even kids’ workshops.
Local and international chefs with likes of George Calombaris, Siba Mtongana, Sarah Graham, Jenny Morris and J’Something showcased their tips and tricks. Joining them at the Johannesburg show was Australian chef, restaurateur, author and judge on The Great Australian Bake Off, Matt Moran as well as private chef, Neill Anthony.
There was over 200 exhibitors who showcased what’s hot and happening in the world of food, drink and appliances.
Friday, 29 July 2016 – Sunday, 31 July 2016.
Where Was It?
Ticketpro Dome, Northumberland Avenue, Johannesburg.
How Much Was It?
Children Under 12: Free
Children between 13-18: R50 per person
Pensioners: R100 (Free on Friday with a valid with proof of ID card)
General Admission: R140 per person.