Chef Nti dishes on how she entertains at home & shares her kitchen playlist

29 September 2019 - 00:02 By Hilary Biller
Nthabiseng Ramaboa aka Chef Nti.
Nthabiseng Ramaboa aka Chef Nti.
Image: Supplied

Influencer, fashionista and TV chef Nthabiseng Ramaboa — better known as Chef Nti — has launched her first cookbook, My Modern African Kitchen.

She's drawn inspiration from growing in Soweto with her mom and gran’s cooking and reinvented these flavours in a fresh and innovative way in an array of delicious recipes.

She tells us more about her food journey, and how she entertains at home:

My love of food comes from my family. My gran, she always had people coming over for meal time - aunties and uncles I realised many years later I was not even related to. We didn't have much, but there was always enough to share. Then of course, my mom, she was always creative in the kitchen.

A typical family Sunday lunch consists of the colours of the rainbow - rice, roast chicken, beetroot salad with mayonnaise, chakalaka relish, potato and pasta salad and, of course, custard and jelly for dessert with a Swiss roll cake as base - my mom loved her Swiss roll cake a lot.

My first dish I remember cooking was probably eggs. I ate a lot of those growing up. I also made cheesecake with Inkomazi and jelly powder. I was so proud of myself.

I lived in Italy for two years and some of the memorable foods I ate there were pizza and pasta for sure. The aromas would drag you from the house to the pizza shop. They used the best cheese and the base was so thin and crispy. The South African heritage food I missed the most living in Italy was atchar.

If I could invite any three people in the world to Sunday lunch it would be: Kris Jenner - a genius, I want her to teach me her ways; Tupac - he had a beautiful mind; and Jay Z - I'm a diehard fan. He's a legend.

Am I always the one in the kitchen cooking while everyone is having fun? NEVER! I love life too much. That is why my cookbook is filled with recipes that are easy to make and quick. I'm all about quick wins in the kitchen.

While cooking I love listening to music. Here are my top five songs:

  • Higher Love - Kygo and Whitney Houston
  • Shining Star - Nneka
  • Spaceships + Rockets - Bas & LION babe
  • Lose You - The Kiffness
  • Sumtin New - Rick Jade

When I'm hosting a lunch I like to wear something extra special and over the top like a big flowy dress with a tail ... so when I serve food on the table and walk away, you're left with the added elegant drama from the dress.

'My Modern African Kitchen' by Chef Nti is published by Quivertree, R350.