Sebastian “Bas” Newman’s delectable Rooibos and fig pavlova drizzled with a simple Rooibos syrup. Picture: Supplied
Sebastian “Bas” Newman’s delectable Rooibos and fig pavlova drizzled with a simple Rooibos syrup. Picture: Supplied

Celeb foodies set to explore innovative ways tea can be used in cooking

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published May 26, 2020

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Tea can be so much more than a mug of hot water.

Before, tea was simply about sipping a hot beverage, but now there are other capabilities of it when it comes to food and beverages. We can now cook with tea and even make cocktails with it. 

To show how antioxidant-rich rooibos can enhance dishes and its versatility, celebrity chefs Sebastian “Bas” Newman and Kamini Pather will be experimenting with the tea over the next few weeks to add some sparkle to lockdown cooking in a series of videos that will be posted on the SA Rooibos Council Facebook page. 

Tea can be so much more than a mug of hot water. Picture: Supplied

In a statement, Pather. who won the second season of 'MasterChef South Africa', said she has always been passionate about cooking with local ingredients and often uses fynbos in her dishes.

“Rooibos is unmistakably South African and a versatile herb at that! It gives dishes a warm, earthy tone, while its caramel flavour also complements sweeter treats and desserts. Since it’s a base note flavour, the tea enhances an array of flavours from citrus to warm and spicy. In fact, I’d challenge anyone to volunteer a type of food that Rooibos doesn’t pair well with,” she said.

Newman said when it comes to baking, it complements sweet and nutty flavours really well. 

Tea can be so much more than a mug of hot water. Picture: Supplied

“I love the combination of Rooibos and white chocolate – one of my absolute favourite desserts is a Rooibos Creme Brûlée. The tea’s natural sweetness adds to and enhances the sweetness in dessert rather than overpowering it,” he said. 

A spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council, Adele du Toit said while Rooibos is known for its health benefits due to its abundance of antioxidants – when they think about cooking with it, many just don’t know where to start. She said that’s why they roped in Pather and Newman to show home cooks how it’s done. 

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