Luke Nair - head chef at the Oyster Box Hotel.
Luke Nair - head chef at the Oyster Box Hotel.
Jonita Venter - executive sous pastry chef at the Oyster Box Hotel
Jonita Venter - executive sous pastry chef at the Oyster Box Hotel

Durban - Three high-profile chefs will be cooking up a storm in the Get Fresh with DStv kitchen at the Good Food & Wine Show here, from August 23 to 26.

Benny Masekwameng, MasterChef South Africa judge; Luke Nair, head chef at the Oyster Box Hotel and Jonita Venter, executive sous pastry chef at the Oyster Box Hotel, will be sharing their culinary secrets, along with a line-up of international chefs.

The Get Fresh with DStv hands-on workshops include a kitted out workstation and apron, a free Woolworths shopper, the latest issue of Taste Magazine as well as the superb Woolworths ingredients you will be cooking with.

Tickets are available from Shona at 021 702 2280.

* The Good Food & Wine Show Durban takes place at the Durban Exhibition Centre from today to Sunday. You can view the full programme line-ups on

Here are some recipes to whet your appetite:


4 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tbsp red food colouring

½ cup buttermilk

1 cup + 2 tbs cake flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

1½ tsp distilled white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting

115g butter, at room temperature

115g cream cheese, at room temperature

2½ cups powdered sugar

1 tbs vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a standard muffin/cupcake pan with liners.

On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food colouring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the centre of the largest cupcake comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place them on a rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting.

Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about five minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated.

Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Makes 12.


60ml oil

75g onion, chopped

10g mustard seeds

10g ginger

20g garlic

2 fresh chillies, stems removed

10g turmeric

10g cumin powder

10g coriander powder

pinch fennel powder

20g mixed fish masala

300g fresh tomato, chopped

25ml soya sauce

15ml lemon juice

25g tamarind, dissolved in water

500g fish

15g curry leaves

20g fresh coriander, chopped

Heat the oil and add the onion and mustard seeds, cook until transparent.

Add the ginger, garlic, chillies, turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel and fish masala powder.

Cook for two minutes.

Add the tomato and cook until soft. Add the soya sauce, lemon juice and tamarind. Simmer for five minutes.

Add the fish and curry leaves and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Check the seasoning and add the fresh coriander to finish.

Serves 2.


One of the most popular items on the menu at Sun Square Hotel’s MondoVino restaurant at Montecasino is pasta allo scoglio, my favourite pasta dish.

60ml olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 leek, chopped

15ml tomato paste

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 x 425g can whole peeled tomatoes

1 chilli, finely chopped

5ml basil pesto

500g prawns, deveined and peeled

500g mussels, in the shells

300g calamari tubes

400g pasta of your choice, cooked until al dente

Heat half the oil in a pan and fry the onion, carrot and leek until softened. Add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes.

Add the garlic and tomatoes and simmer until reduced by a quarter.

In a separate pan, heat half the remaining oil and fry the chilli and pesto for two minutes. Add the chilli mixture to the tomato sauce and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in another pan and fry the prawns, mussels and calamari for about three minutes. Add the seafood to the sauce with the cooked pasta, mix and heat through. Serves 2. - Daily News