What are South African's crazy about when it comes to food and drink. Chef Nti reveals her findings...


#1: At the moment, it is definitely the street food scene. There are a lot of new businesses that are popping up that are doing street food in the most interesting way. One in particular is in Braamfontein called Kota Kings. It’s more like a bunny chow. You find it a lot in townships. It’s a sandwich bread with potato chips, sausages and atchar. These guys have taken that but added a bit of a modern twist to it with their interesting veggies. If what we grew up eating. It is what most black South Africans will identity fiwth.

#2: People have become more conscious of what they eat. These days, they are leaning towards healthier meals. That’s another thing directing how, in SA, the food space is taking shape.

#3: With drinks, I’ve found that they are now shifting; alcohol is being paired with food. That’s part of a bigger campaign where the brands have been pulling people like myself to come in and help create menus infused with their brand. They are recognising food as a complement.

#4: Patisseries – there’s an on ongoing change in this space. Before it was all about red velvet and colour cakes. Now, when you go to food markets, its also about beautiful pastries. And we love our macaroons at the moment. I noticed they are making them in sandwiches and in different ways that go all the way to fine dining. It’s all about the whole gastronomy of it!

#5: Craft beer, absolutely. It goes with the offering of sweet food. I love me some craft beer. There is a strawberry flavour (can’t remember the brand) that I love.


MY KOTA PIE

Makes Five Pies

500g potatoes 

50g butter 

50ml olive oil 

3 sprigs rosemary 

100g mango achaar 

300g sundried tomatoes 

250ml red wine 

50g cheddar cheese 

2 tsp sugar 

Salt and pepper to taste 

500g Russian sausages 

550g puff pastry 

1 egg for brushing 


METHOD

Cut 400g potatoes into 1cm x 1cm cubes. Cook in simmering water until tender. Drain and dry potatoes. Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add a spoon of oil and 2 rosemary sprigs. Add potatoes and increase heat. Fry potatoes until golden brown. Drain and set aside to cool. Drain achaar in a sieve. Finely chop sundried tomatoes. Place in a pan with 2 tsp. of olive oil on medium heat. Cook until paste consistency. Add red wine and chopped rosemary. Reduce to a chunky sauce. Add sugar, salt and pepper. Stir and set aside. Finely grate Cheddar. Skin and cut Russian sausages into large blocks. Fry in oil. Roll out puff pastry. Spray and cook mini-loaf moulds. Line with puff pastry. Layer bottom of pie with potatoes (NOT the chips). Add cheddar to Russian sausages and layer on top of potatoes. Layer with finely grated mature cheddar cheese. Place tomato sauce on top and seal pie with a layer of puff pastry. Brush the pie with egg wash. With remaining puff pastry cut out the letters “KOTA” and egg wash one side of each letter. Stick lettering on the pie lid and egg-wash the surface of the pie. Bake at 180°C until golden brown.


MAIZE PIZZA WITH BOEREWORS

1 litre (4 cups) water 

1 chicken stock cube 

500ml (2 cups) maize meal 

50g butter 50g (½ cup) 

grated Parmesan or cheddar cheese 

TOPPING 

250g boerewors sausage, or Chorizo or frankfutters 

150g Sliced button mushrooms 

1 Sliced red onion 200g chopped cherry tomatoes, halved 

100g (1 cup) grated cheddar cheese fresh basil leaves 


METHOD

Heat oven to 190°C. Grease a large baking sheet. In a large saucepan, bring water and chicken stock cube to the boil. Slowly pour in the maize meal, a little at a time, stirring constantly until completely absorbed. Lower heat, and cook stirring for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Mixture must be soft and spreadable. Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese, spread pap onto baking sheet, to 5cm thickness. Brush your pap base with olive oil. Arrange topping ingredients, except basil, on pap base. Bake for 20 minutes or until the sausage is browned and the sides of the maize meal crust crisp. Garnish with basil leaves and cut into wedges,serve warm.