Siba Mtongana

The TV chef and food writer, 29, on her favourite restaurants, shark-cage diving and the Tim Noakes diet.

The thing I love most about living in Cape Town is its beauty, the quality of life, and the fact that it’s the food hub of South Africa.

When out-of-towners come to town, I take them for a drive along the Atlantic Seaboard, which really shows off the beauty of the city. If there’s a neighbourhood market or festival on, I’ll take them there, as that’s how they’ll get a real feel of the vibe of the city. And, of course, I take them to our favourite restaurants to showcase our world-class food and service.

My favourite restaurants include the Grand Café in Granger Bay for weekend sundowners; Reuben’s at the One&Only for the pork belly or duck confit; Nobu for Asian tapas; Tuscany Beach in Camps Bay for the steak or the seafood pasta; Willoughbys, of course, for the best sushi in town by far; Wakame for fish and seafood; and the Fat Cactus in Gardens for the comforting vibe and delicious Mexican food.

For sundowners with a view, I head to the Grand Café in Granger Bay, especially on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t take alcohol, so I’ll have a virgin cocktail or their granadilla and mint concoction – I can’t remember what it’s called.

An annual Cape Town event I’ll definitely be seen at is The Good Food and Wine show, if my schedule permits.

My culinary heroes are the usual suspects: Jamie, Nigella, Ina [Garten] and Delia Smith.

In my kitchen cupboard, you’ll always find tinned tomatoes and a variety of tinned beans, pastes, rice, maize meal and lots of veggies.

The best restaurant for a good curry is the former Passage to India in Tableview, now called The Indian Chapter with Prim Reddy.

I always order the Tandoori chicken; Brian, my husband, usually has the butter chicken, and he inevitably wants to taste what I’m eating. But I tend to be territorial about my food, especially the paratha bread!

The Banting diet (Low Carbs and High Protein) also known as the caveman’s diet is popular in my circles. Call me old-fashioned; I still believe in low GI: not cutting all carbs, but choosing the better-quality ones.

Sunday mornings is church and family time – always with a feast!

My favourite TV series used to be The Fixer, but of late I mostly watch cooking shows, JimJam (the cartoon channel) and the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Oscar Pistorius? It’s better to leave the judging to those qualified to do so.

Straight after this, I’m conceptualising and creating recipes for upcoming projects – The Namibia Food and Wine Festival being one of them.

Food is an expression of “I love you” and tastes even better when shared with loved ones.

The best movie I’ve seen so far this year is The Book Thief, which I watched on the plane to Dubai. It’s so beautifully written, touching and emotional – not for the faint-hearted. I loved that it kept me guessing, it’s not predictable at all.

On my Cape Town bucket list is shark-diving. My husband Brian has been wanting to do it for a while, but I’m still getting my head around it. As long as he’s in the cage with me, I might consider it.

I’m currently working on Season 2 of Siba’s Table, and my first cookbook. I recently learned that Season 1 has been picked up by an American TV network – so exciting!

One day I want to be an ambassador for the UN. I would like to build schools, libraries, hospitals and other infrastructure in South Africa and the rest of Africa, plus other developing countries, and to cover education fees for financially disadvantaged but deserving learners and students. I believe I have been blessed to be a blessing to others!

Catch daily repeats of Siba Mtongana’s show, Siba’s Table, on DStv’s Food Network (Channel 175).

Add new comment

Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 01 March 2015

51 Responses to “Siba Mtongana”

  1. Avatar

    Nosi

    Hi where can I get your cooking book in jhb, pls

    Reply
  2. Avatar

    Anthea

    Way too pretentious, stick to what you know

    Reply
  3. Avatar

    Anthea

    Who cooks all dressed up in a kitchen

    Reply
  4. Avatar

    Boitumelo

    Hi Siba

    I need a mentor on catering business.

    Reply
  5. Avatar

    Hella

    My grandchildren (8+10years old)followed your Pavlova Recipe without help!Result excellent!Would love to send the picture!

    Reply
  6. Avatar

    Yvonne

    How do I get hold of Siba. She doesn’t answer on Facebook

    Reply
  7. Avatar

    Betsi

    Go girl I love the fact that you are blessed to be a blessing!

    Reply
  8. Avatar

    Dina Thumbiran

    Hi Siba, really enjoy your show have tried lots of your recipe and their are full proof and delicious. However I tried the caramel popcorn cake and I have a question the popcorn was incredibly hard to cut and eat after coming out of the freezer, did I do something wrong.

    Reply
  9. Avatar

    Stella

    Hi Siba….me n my family are your fans here in kenya.i share with you the idea of food means”i love you”…and i always cook for my big family n friends.
    Today i served them the raw beetroot and carrot salad(i just watched that episode this afternoon) and it was vava voom.
    Me n my 2 princesses got a dream to meet you one day…n enjoy the siba’s table.
    We love the mtongana five.

    Reply
  10. Avatar

    Zenda Pretorius

    Goodday

    I love Sibas cooking … everything is delicious and somethind all “normal” non chef people can do it. Love that it is good, heart South African meals.

    Is there any possibility that she can do a series on how to do a week, 2 weeks or month, cook and freeze documentary? I have search high and low but can only find overseas people doing it. I know it is not only me but a lot of women looking for guidelines and ideas on how to do this. As this will not only save time and money but give us time to other things, spend time with family instead of cooking every night. It will also help in taking that one day to buy only the necessary and do healthy foods. Giving us peace of mind that good healthy food is ready to just be defrost.

    I really think this is a huge opportunity to help all women, improve health and give us some much needed time. Also a lot less stres when we dont have to everyday think what are we cooking tonight.

    Would love to know what u think.

    Regards
    Zenda Pretorius

    Reply
  11. Avatar

    Jessica

    love your food and want to purchase your book.

    Reply
  12. Avatar

    joliaanta gowases

    hi siba,where in namibia can i purchase your cookbook,my table?

    Reply
  13. Avatar

    Thandolwethu

    Hi Siba Thando talking 12 years ….am very passionate about food I love ur show a lot especially the the SEVEN COLOUR SUNDAY I luv u so much SiBa hope u reply to my post

    Reply
  14. Avatar

    Eunice

    Hi siba, i am a big fan of yours, i really love your show, i cnt wait for season 2

    Reply
  15. Avatar

    Tino

    Hey siba, i love your cooking channel. i used to be the worst cook and i tell you i have learnt quite a lot from you. how do i get your cook book in Zim?

    Reply
  16. Avatar

    Mbaly

    Hi Siba! I am a big fan of yours.I’m currently studying towards my diploma in hospitality and catering services. I must say watching u on TV made me mor passionate abt cooking.u’ve inspired many ppl. I absolutely adore ur show.

    Reply
  17. Avatar

    Thakgatso

    Hey siba ..im a big fan of yours ..im 22 so I’m interested how DD you start being a chef ..please reply me ?

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Thakgatso

      You’re through to The Inside Guide, not Siba.
      I suggest you contact her via her website. Good luck.

      Reply
      • Avatar

        Thakgatso

        What’s her website if I may ask…as I cnt thru to her ….she inspires me alot …?

        Reply
  18. Avatar

    vuyswa

    Love your cooking show,congratulations on your Princess. You are really blessed. Please stay as you are, we still waiting to see a lot from you
    stay blessed

    Reply
  19. Avatar

    Kaytee Mojake

    Hi Sis Siba, your show is amazeballs! I like to consider myself as a food lover, I’ve tried a couple of your recipes and they’ve turned out just well :D. (Ndenze ezi zilula zine ingredients ezixhaphakileyo of course) keep up the good work! I hope to be on Copped-SA, so you can be the judge of my art.

    Reply
  20. Avatar

    Dale F

    Siba, I live in the US, and I absolutely adore your show, Siba’s Table. You give Americans a true glimpse of modern African life. You have a beautiful home and a gorgeous family, and your sunny disposition shines. I hope that The Cooking Channel realizes your worth, and that you can develop more shows for your worldwide fanbase.

    Reply
  21. Avatar

    Ningi Thusi

    Siba you are incredible girl I love you I love your family and mostly I love each and every show. Your cooking show has taught me a lot. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. NCAAAH

    Reply
  22. Avatar

    Patrick

    I have been to my local Woollies looking for your cookbook, but they don’t have it yet.How do I get a copy apart from Woolies as first distributors?

    Reply
  23. Avatar

    Tumi

    Hi. I have been searching for your cookbook, without much luck. Can you please direct as to where I can find the book. Love your shows.

    Reply
  24. Avatar

    Colleen Irving

    Hi

    Would love to buy your book. been looking for it . Please advise were I can buy it. I watch all your shows and just love your cooking. thanks so much. Kind Regards

    Reply
  25. Avatar

    mam'uVuyiswa

    yhuu , uyathandeka sana , loved you first time see you on tv with mouth watering cooking, proud of you as a black mother, my daughter also loves you . Keep it up .

    Reply
  26. Avatar

    Nadine

    I love your show Siba. Keep on doing the good work.

    Reply
  27. Avatar

    Thandeka Temba

    Inspired and Proud of u sis’Sib’s!
    God bless u my sister!

    Reply
  28. Avatar

    Jayashree

    Hi Siba.I am living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.I am so blessed to get to watch your show on the Food Network challenge.Its always like coming to a taste of home.I’m a South African.Proud to say that I share the same nationality as you.May God bless you always.Thank you.

    Reply
  29. Avatar

    leatile

    Dear Siba

    I’m a matric learner who is very passionate about cooking and I must say watching you on Tv made me more passionate about cooking which is why I decided to study professional cookery.

    You’ve inspired many people especially the youth about an industry that is marginalized in our country.

    Siba may the good Lord bless you and your family abundantly.

    Thank You.

    Reply
  30. Avatar

    Marie

    I have just recently began watching your show. I love it. I also love seeing your baby he is so adorable. LOok forward to seeing more of your show

    Reply
  31. Avatar

    ali

    good

    Reply
  32. Avatar

    Nozwakele

    Good day

    I am a great fan of Siba Mtongana and would love to get hold of her cookbook. Can you recommend a few places I can get it from. Iam in Mpumalanga and the name of the book please.

    Thank you

    Reply
  33. Avatar

    Nonsikelelo Mkhize

    Hi Siba I love your show I watch it all the time when i’m home. I love you cause of the way you show that you love what you do . Siba i also what to be a chef like you .So can you help me.I go to Inanda seminary school and for this term we have to interview people and also do the work . so can you help me

    Reply
  34. Avatar

    valencia moamogwa

    Wow Siba I really love your show. The recipes are just wonderful. May you continually be blessed in what you do. You are an inspiration <3 <3.
    Regards
    Valencia Moamogwa

    Reply
  35. Avatar

    cheree

    Hi. Can you plz let me know where you buy you frech produce. You went to a market. Can you give me name plz.

    Reply
  36. Avatar

    Corinne Moos

    Hi Siba love your show.Met you on two occassions at my workplace, Absa. Love the way you cook and have tried a few of the recipes.Cannot wait for your new show.

    Reply
  37. Avatar

    Gül

    Hello Siba,ı am Gül from Turkey in Istanbul.ı love your Show so much and always waching you.do you think go to İstanbul?if you go I am happy.please write me loves

    Reply
  38. Avatar

    kamo

    Can you email me her contact details if possible.
    Thanks

    Reply
  39. Avatar

    kamo

    Hi Siba I am one of your biggest fans n would love to follow in your footsteps but i have no funding for culinary school my name is Keamogetswe age 20 I have a passion for food and I belive that food should be made with love or not at all, I applied for a culinary school and Im accepted but I have no funding please help.

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi there
      You are through to The Inside Guide. If you’d like to make contact with Siba, you’d need to contact her directly.
      Thanks.

      Reply
  40. Avatar

    Ruvimbo

    Im totally in love with your show, l watch it all the time, everytime!!

    Reply
  41. Avatar

    Andrew

    Hi Siba,

    Am writing this on behalf of my lovely wife. She loves good food (and so do I!) and she knows her way around the kitchen, fortunately. I have a crazy idea. No, a humble request: feature her in just ONE (1) of your shows PLEASE? By the way, she doesn’t know about this mad scheme I have, so it will come as a lovely surprise. PLEASE?

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Andrew.
      You are through to The Inside Guide, not Siba.
      If you’d like to get hold of her, try her Facebook page: /www.facebook.com/SibaMtongana.
      Or email, info@ermstars.com.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  42. Avatar

    Hilda Mweemba Moonde

    Hello Siba

    I am a Zambian Lady who loves watching you cooking and I love your emphasis on We are a Rainbow Nation and what is important your table, indeed my talented SA keep the light burning, I am so proud of your achievements.

    Keep it Siba

    my facebook page is Hilda Mweemba, please keep me posted with your recipes.

    Regards

    Hilda

    Reply
  43. Avatar

    Zamoh

    Hi Siba, I love your show, I said to myself finally we have a south african woman on the show. I watch too much of food network channel since I am a food lover. I’ve watched so many interesting chefs, such as Ina Garten; Guy; Ellie Krieger; Aarti Sequel an many more even chopped. I would like to know if you teach people to cook and bake. I’m very passionate with cooking and baking. I wish, I have your contact details. I am a mother of six kids. I have a big family. I will be delighted if you can E-mail me. I have sharing e-mail with Ellie Krieger. I hope you do not mind. Keep up the good job, God Bless You Dear….

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Zamoh. We think Siba is fabulous too. If you’d like to contact her directly, we suggest you go to her Facebook page.
      Good luck,
      The Inside Guide

      Reply