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).

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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


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

  2. Avatar


    Way too pretentious, stick to what you know

  3. Avatar


    Who cooks all dressed up in a kitchen

  4. Avatar


    Hi Siba

    I need a mentor on catering business.

  5. Avatar


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

  6. Avatar


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

  7. Avatar


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

  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.

  9. Avatar


    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.

  10. Avatar

    Zenda Pretorius


    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.

    Zenda Pretorius

  11. Avatar


    love your food and want to purchase your book.

  12. Avatar

    joliaanta gowases

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

  13. Avatar


    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

  14. Avatar


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

  15. Avatar


    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?

  16. Avatar


    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.

  17. Avatar


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

    • 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.

      • Avatar


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

  18. Avatar


    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

  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.

  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.

  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

  22. Avatar


    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?

  23. Avatar


    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.

  24. Avatar

    Colleen Irving


    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

  25. Avatar


    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 .

  26. Avatar


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

  27. Avatar

    Thandeka Temba

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

  28. Avatar


    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.

  29. Avatar


    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.

  30. Avatar


    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

  31. Avatar



  32. Avatar


    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

  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

  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.
    Valencia Moamogwa

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

  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.

  37. Avatar


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

  38. Avatar


    Can you email me her contact details if possible.

  39. Avatar


    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.

    • 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.

  40. Avatar


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

  41. Avatar


    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?

    • 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: /
      Or email,


  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.



  43. Avatar


    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….

    • 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