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What's cooking this week: It's a virtual feast as celeb chefs go toe to toe with new shows

Virtual cooking classes are the new trend in sharing kitchen skills but when it became a reality show with two foodies recently, our food editor polished her cooking skills

11 March 2021 - 07:45 By hilary biller
Nti Ramaboa, host of 'Street Food in Africa'.
Nti Ramaboa, host of 'Street Food in Africa'.
Image: Food Network

This was the new normal — a virtual cooking class in my own kitchen. After the cue of two celeb chefs, Chef Katlego Mlambo and Chef Nti Ramaboa, we kicked off the cook-a-long in making a three-course menu — the ingredients had arrived, all measured out, the day before — the starter, a goat's cheese ball with a sticky watermelon konfyt.

I rolled the ball in dehydrated flowers as they did, drizzled over the syrup, added the crushed nuts. This was step up from the usual virtual class because the chefs could and did have a bird’s-eye view of what their audience, me included, were doing in our very own kitchens.

Bugger ... why did I eat the apple that was meant as a garnish for the starter? Would they notice it was missing?

This cook-off was in celebration of  two brand new food shows for each, a first for both chefs, to premier on Food Network next week. The great news is both hail from Gauteng — Chef Katlego grew up in Eldorado Park and Chef Nti hails from Soweto.

The effervescent Chef Katlego, of The Marabi Club fame, was of course turning his goat's cheese ball into a restaurant-style starter, getting all cheffy with the ingredients.

Katlego Mlambo hosts 'Inside Job’.
Katlego Mlambo hosts 'Inside Job’.
Image: Food Network

The gorgeous Chef Nti, more laid back, humming a tune as she worked — she said she can’t be in the kitchen without music — produced something akin to what I’d put together.

The laughs rolled, the kitchen vibe grew more jolly, I picked up a couple of culinary tips as together we made a meal, the goat's cheese ball for starters, a main of a Mexican-style tostada with beans and a chakalaka mayo and for sweets a nartjie meringue ness with a delish nartjie curd and white chocolate.  

For a bigger helping of these two chefs you can catch Chef Katlego in Inside Job with Chef Katlego Mlambo, which kicks off this weekend. Apart from showcasing local ingredients in his own inimitable style, look out for his dance moves with his favourite playlists.  

In her series, Street Food in Africa, Chef Nti takes viewers on a journey around SA from the cities to the townships as she explores the country’s culinary culture. It’s going to be a feast.

•  Chef Katlego Mlambo's show 'Inside Job with Chef Katlego Mlambo' premiers on March 13 while Chef Nti Ramaboa's show 'Street Food in Africa with Chef Nti' premieres on March 17, both on DStv channel 175. For more information, visit Food Network.