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Q&A with Lungi Nhlanhla

Quick Q&A with Lungi Nhlanhla

From MasterChef to opening her own business, Lungi Nhlanhla is taking the foodie world by storm. When the youngest contestant on MasterChef SA made it to the finals, we paid attention. Then we watched as she took on the daunting role of food editor for Drum. Now, she is combining her love of food, writing and events management, in her own bespoke culinary business and blog, Lungi’s Corner.

MK: What do you love most about food?
Lungi: South Africa has so many diverse and distinct cultures, each with a deep history and a different approach to food. I think we should be exploring what we have to offer on home soil before looking for inspiration elsewhere. Some of our best chefs are doing just that: modernising traditional recipes and ingredients; fusing cultures while respecting our culinary heritage. Food is a great way for us to learn about each other. When you learn a recipe, you’re not just learning about a cuisine, but about the people that make and enjoy the dish, as well as their cultural context. Every dish has a story.

MK: What’s hot on the local food scene?
Lungi: Forget curly kale, local greens (like morogo, imfino and imbuya) are all the rage. There is also a renewed emphasis on reinventing simple ingredients. Take pap (which I think should be our national dish): you can turn it into anything, from polenta to pizza. But my favourite way to eat it
is the way my family taught me: with chicken stock, herbs, sweetcorn, onions and butter.

MK: Any trends we should know about?
Lungi: People want fine dining at home. We want the luxury of good food, but in
the comfort of our homes – it’s a fun challenge! I’m a huge fan of salad, but nothing is more off-putting than a bland one. You can turn a bed of leaves into something spectacular just by adding fruit (I love pears and plums).

Facebook: Lungi’s Corner
Twitter: @LungisCorner
Instagram: @lungiscorner

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