Chef's Table

Cookbook author Nompumelelo Mqwebu's ultimate Sunday lunch

The brains behind 'Through the Eyes of an African Chef' dreams up a guest list and menu for a fantasy feast

19 November 2017 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller

Guests I would invite to my fantasy Sunday lunch:
• Stephen Hawking, the physicist and cosmologist, to understand the way he sees the world today. I am fascinated by how he challenges other scientific theories and how he respects those he disagrees with.
• Oprah Winfrey to chat about her ancestry not being Zulu, and to gain her insight as a cookbook author.
• Trevor Noah - people have described him as a food hoover and I'd like to see if he can compete with my food-hoover sons.
• Chef Christian Puglisi - a Michelin-star chef who is passionate about supporting local producers. His restaurant is the first Michelin-star restaurant to be certified organic in 2011.What we'd talk about:
With Stephen, I'd discuss the possibility of vegetation having a shared origin, especially with countries in the same Pangaea regions and how this could be proven or disproven with the M-theory, remembering scientists agree that "no single theory is a good representation of observations in all situations".
For Oprah, I'd ask what she thought of the results of her DNA test, what she loves most about Zulu culture and African-American soul food in the context of modern African food.
For Trevor, I'd ask what he does to maintain relatability with the South African people and keep his accent intact. For Christian, I'd discuss his self-appointed task challenging his Michelin-star peers to move towards sustainable methods in their kitchens.
I'd cook a dish with an ingredient he has never heard of and challenge him to create a Michelin-star take on the same dish.Traditional samp and beans served with bone marrow, delicious. Amadumbe gnocchi served with ostrich - an unusual taste to the international guests and a new twist to the locals.
Baobab cheesecake served with blueberries - a chance to show off the health benefits of the baobab in a dessert.
Who would do the washing up:
Chef Christian Puglisi, in true professional kitchen style. You're never too big to do pot wash!..

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