Celebrity chef Nthabiseng Ramaboa - who is popularly known as Chef Nti - has made enormous contributions to the South African food landscape. She has achieved and experienced some major milestones in her journey, from authoring her own cookbook to launching her own range of spices and sauces.
Now, the food connoisseur is set to be the host of her own cooking show on the Food Network.
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Titled Street food in Africa, the show sees the Soweto-born chef take viewers on a journey around South Africa, from its cities to its townships, all while exploring what defines the country’s culinary culture. By drawing on the authentic flavours she grew up with, Chef Nti shows us how food is such an integral part of our identity – our national story.
“The show celebrates South Africa’s culinary heritage. We use street food to tell a story of who we are as a people - a beautiful diverse, rainbow nation,” she tells TRUELOVE before sharing what the experience of hosting a TV show was like.
“Presenting the show was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I worked with some of the best crew. I had my own studio set built for me, to my liking and preference. The Network allowed me a platform to make the show whatever I like and had envisioned, which is something that doesn’t happen often. I’m grateful; I don’t take none of it for granted,” she says.
Although Chef Nti has always dreamed of being part of a show that represents the African street food culture, she admits that shooting the show wasn’t a smooth ride due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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“COVID was the main challenge. We couldn’t work for months but fortunately we had a window period in November to sneak out and film the show in Dubai – and everyone there who was keen to taste our food absolutely loved it and gave us great feedback,” she says proudly.
Having done so much within the food industry already, Chef Nti says that she wants to venture into getting more local food products on shelves in South African stores.
“We still have a long way to go when it comes to representation on the food shelves. There’s very few proudly South African products one could find. Right now I’m focused on that and on enjoying the new show and the fact that I am now finally with Food Network.”
Street food in Africa will premiere on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 on DSTV Channel 175 at 19:55. Foodies can look forward to 19 episodes of the show which will give them plenty of recipes to try.