Diners visiting MasterChef SA Deena Naidoo’s new restaurant, which he won in the reality television show this week, will be in for a South African feast. It will celebrate the diversity of the country, he says.
The venue, at the SunSquare Montecasino Hotel in Joburg, will come under Naidoo’s expert hands from November.
While Mondevino has a strong Italian focus, Naidoo says, when he takes over, that will change. “Expect a menu of dishes ranging from pap and tomato gravy to milk tart and even my butter chicken.”
While Durban-born Naidoo said he would have liked to open a restaurant in his home town, this won’t be the case.
“The location was earmarked for various logistical reasons. It is in a vibrant area with huge potential and, as industry leaders, I understand and trust in Tsogo Sun’s reasoning.”
Even though a move to Joburg looks inevitable, he has no plans to uproot his family just yet.
“I’m only thinking about the next three months for now and I will continue working (for Nedbank) and we will continue to stay in Durban,” he said.
The restaurant he won is valued at R7 million.
A word of advice from the master chef for those wanting to take part in the next competition is to start preparing as soon as possible.
“We live in such fortunate times, we have so many resources at our disposal. Read, read, read and start making recipes your own. Master your basic sauces and your techniques such as chopping, filleting, portioning and de-boning,” he said.
The reason I won Master Chef SA is because I didn’t take my foot off the pedal.”