Anele Mdoda joins celebrity chef Neill Anthony in live cook-off

Anele Mdoda and Neill Anthony. (PHOTO: Supplied)
Anele Mdoda and Neill Anthony. (PHOTO: Supplied)

We might have differing opinions on the countrywide lockdown regulations but there’s one thing all South Africans can agree on: the importance of rallying together and helping those in need, especially during these trying times.

Doing her part to assist the vulnerable is award-winning talk show host Anele Mdoda. And she’s doing it the best way she knows how – through cooking.

“Covid-19 doesn’t spread, people spread it,” she tells YOU.

“Just don’t be the person who spreads it. So stay home . . . and cook!”

Anele has teamed up with celebrity chef Neill Anthony to create delicious scones and buttermilk fried chicken live on Instagram this Sunday.

The pair are aiming to raise money for their respective charities.

“I chose the Baby Box Project,” Anele explains.

“When the lockdown started I did a lot of research and found an organization that helps new moms who’ve lost their income. Many moms did laundry and cleaning and piece jobs so many women were affected.

“The Baby Box Project gives the moms a care package with clothes, blankets and a letter of encouragement saying, ‘Mama, you got this!’”

Cooking up a storm for a cause this close to her heart – and working alongside “the wonder that is Neill Anthony” – has her nerves in tatters, Anele jokes.

“I’m more excited than nervous but nerves do come up for about 30 seconds a day.”

Neill’s charity of choice is Isabelo, an initiative started in 2009 to combat hunger in children.

“Every morning I’d drive to my restaurant in Franschhoek, The Tasting Room, and turn left at the bottom of my road,” he explains.

“Within a kilometre I’d be in my spectacular kitchen, working with the very best produce. However, if I turned right at the bottom of my road and travelled one kilometre, I’d drive straight into the heart of an underprivileged township surrounded by poverty and hunger with children going into school daily on empty stomachs.

“The bridge is simply too vast and I had to do something to start making a difference.”

With the help of a dietitian he created a highly nutritious muffin recipe and delivered tasty muffins to a local playschool every Friday.

Thanks to generous donors, Neill and his team were later able to deliver these meals to two different schools five days a week.

Eventually in 2017, Neill left his job as executive chef of The Tasting Room and adopted Isabelo.

“We’re proudly partnered with the Pebbles Project Kitchen who provide warm, nutritious lunches for 200 preschool children,” he says. “The breakfast meals have continued and I personally deliver these daily.”

She might be a media personality by profession and a foodie by passion but if her Instagram profile is anything to go by, Anele has some serious cooking skills.

“I’m a total foodie,” she says, adding that her go-to meal is cherry chicken and spicy rice.

“I follow more foodie pages than people on Instagram. I spend all money on food gadgets and when I travel, destinations are picked on culinary tours more than sightseeing.”

Anele and Neill are a match made in heaven and we can’t wait to feast our eyes on what they’ll whip up.

*The cook off with take place live on Instagram on Sunday 31 May at 10am.

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