Johannesburg - Lux influencer Tshego Manche loves being in the kitchen.
Not only does food bring people together, it is also at the heart of celebration and culture.
Manche teamed up with the La Cucina Malfy culinary experience series to introduce consumers to the “La dolce Vita” lifestyle, demonstrating how to create a dining experience with both food and at-home entertainment.
All this was inspired by the food, drink, culture and aesthetics of Italian living.
Manche spoke to The Star about her favourite food memories:
Q: What are some of your favourite dishes and must-haves for any friend/family get-together?
A: I love anything with rice and pasta. I know that’s a lot of carbs! (Lol). Also, anything with lots of sauce and chilli.
Q: What was the first dish you learnt how to make? Was it a success/ fail?
A: I think I was 14. I was alone; my mom was not around and my sister was asleep. I was really hungry and decided to make a sandwich. At that time we didn’t have a toaster so I popped it into the oven. It ended up being burnt to a crisp.
Q: When making a dish for the first time, which of the following do you turn to: YouTube, a cookbook or a loved one?
A: Life has been immensely digitised. I used cookbooks a lot. There’s something so special about books that makes you feel connected to the chef.
But, to be honest… I now use YouTube. I love that I can make something for the first time and KILL IT! It’s so detailed and easy. I can pause and also be guided step by step.
Q: Give us a list of five food items or kitchen accessories/appliances that you can’t live without.
A: I can’t live without my oven. It makes my life easy. I can make almost everything in it – even eggs.
My blender – I cook a lot of Jollof rice so I need it for some of my relish and stew mixes.
Whisker – I love whisking pancakes for my kids.
The microwave – You always need hot food.
Q: What is your ultimate culinary and fine dining experience?
A: Dining while a chef is narrating and doing a tasting. I once had an experience in Cape Town. I enjoyed the explanation of how each dish came about, the inspiration behind it and what the chef was thinking.
I love food that comes with a story because it tastes so much better.
Also, performance art with food. Eating a meal, with a good glass of gin or wine while watching a dance or any kind of performance is a vibe.
Q: What comes to mind when you think of Italian food?
A: When I was in Italy the best time was lunchtime.
I love how they take the art of food and eating together seriously. I think between 1pm and 3pm all shops are closed for lunch.
I love the pizza and the creamy pasta.
Q: Share your experience of being part of the La Cucina Malfy Home Cook series.
A: The best part and what I was impressed by was the making of the pasta from scratch. It was memorable, I would like to incorporate this when I have guests. I love pairing the Malfy Con Arancia with grapefruit. With the Originale and Malfy Con Limone, I enjoy it with lemon and rosemary.
I used to be a fruit salad kind of girl – putting everything inside. However, I have learnt much better. I don’t over-garnish as it removes the flavour of the actual gin.