Durban - Simmi Ramnarain was the KZN star of the Great South African Bake Off, making the top three finalists and enthralling with her recipes, her secret home-made spice mixes and her bubbly personality.
But the Phoenix mother of two also celebrates a special occasion on Valentine’s Day - her silver wedding anniversary. She and husband Peter married on Valentine’s Day 1993.
Ramnarain told of how she met Peter, who today owns Base Power, a car audio company, while taking driving lessons with one of his friends.
“The instructor came to me and said they were putting all their customer’s details onto the computer and he needed my details. That’s how my husband first contacted me,” she said.
And when they planned their wedding, the date February 14, 1993, just worked. “It was an auspicious day, and so we went for it.”
Ramnarain doesn’t have anything planned for their special day.
“We’re quite spontaneous, so I’m really not sure. We always spoil each other on Valentine’s Day. And we celebrate every occasion. We always give each other beautiful cards. And I will bake my husband a cake,” she says.
Her two children, Samir, 24, and Kirti 20, will be with their parents for the special day.
Regarding the South African Bake Off show, Ramnarain said she started baking at school.
Although she would have loved to attend culinary school, she said: “I couldn’t due to unfortunate circumstances.”
She had entered cooking competitions before. “That was different type of pressure - there, we’d cook for an hour or so. This competition consisted of weeks of filming and was going to be aired all over the world.
“It wasn’t easy and it was a huge learning experience. I loved every minute of it. Any die-hard baker should be on the programme,” she said.
And on her plans for the future, Ramnarain would like to open a baking school. “I want to take it to a whole new level. I want to teach how to bake and to cook from home and how, using just a few simple ingredients, you can create food full of flavour.”
And does her husband join her in the kitchen? “No, he only eats what I bake,” she said with a smile.
And her secret to a successful 25 years?
“That’s being spontaneous again,” she said.