Enjoying the Zulu culture.
Enjoying the Zulu culture.
Matt Tebbutt at Sabi Sabi.
Matt Tebbutt at Sabi Sabi.

Filming has completed on a new 10-part television food series, A Taste of South Africa, with well-known British chef Matt Tebbutt as the show's presenter. Clinton Moodley spoke to him.

In A Taste of South Africa, Tebbutt travels across the country discovering and exploring the diversity and flavour of the local foods that the southern tip of Africa has to offer. In the course of his journey, Tebbutt samples regional specialties and explores and savours food and drink rich with traditional heritage and culture.

During the month-long shoot Tebbutt visited Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu Natal and the Western and Eastern Cape as he learned to prepare Sorghum, Chisa Nyama, bunny chow, Umphokoqo, koeksusters, waterblommetjie bredie and snoek.

The series will be shown on the Discovery channel on DStv and on UKTV in Britain later this year.

Clinton Moodley(CM): Why did you choose South Africa as a destination?

Matt Tebbutt(MT):  South Africa remains largely undiscovered by the UK in the broader sense and I've always wanted to go and see it for myself.

CM: Besides the food, what captured you?

MT: The smiles and amazing hospitality of the people and the diverse landscapes as well as the  rich and cultural heritage.

CM: What did you love about the country?

MT:  It's simply has everything you could possibly wish for in life, and on such a vast scale.

CM: As a tourist, what are the 5 things every person should do while in the country?

MT: Wow, that's too difficult to answer, but you simply have to get up and out every day and do something different rather than staying in one spot. Keep travelling and let the countryside change before your eyes. After five weeks, I barely scratched the surface.

CM: What lessons have you taken from the country? '

MT: That despite its years of heritage it still feels young and vibrant and dynamic in so many ways.

CM:  What were the challenges in the country?

MT: To not get pick pocketed in Cape Town!! Other than that, the biggest challenge was to try and film as much as we could and do the story of the country, its food and its people justice in such a small amount of time.

CM: Best hotel you stayed at?

MT: Sabi Sabi Earth lodge......like nothing else I've ever had the privilege to experience and The Oyster Box in Durban for sheer relaxation, luxury and the random thieving monkeys on the terrace.

A bit more about his international travels:

CM: Best holiday?

MT: Scuba diving in the Maldives so far. The water is so clear and amazingly warm that you don't even need a wetsuit.

CM: Ideal travelling companion?

MT:  My wife Lisa.

CM: Greatest travel luxury?

MT:  An international adapter plug!

CM:  Best meal abroad?

MT:  Lunch on the terrace at La Colombe D'o. It's located in an ancient house set high up in picturesque St Paul de Vence in France.  it's a real experience. I sat outside on the shady terrace surrounded by iconic works of art sipping champagne and eating some outstanding food - and all at a pretty reasonable price considering everything.

CM:  Favourite city?

MT:  Florence. I love the food, the culture, the museums, the whole package.

CM:  Where to next?

MT:  Nova Scotia (for a series I present on Channel 4 in the UK) then back to SA with my family at the end of June for a holiday. Can't wait!