The celebrity chef serving local flavour to the world
Jamie. Nigella. And now Siba. Cooking on television has never looked this glamourous thanks to Siba Mtongana. Through her show, Siba’s Table, the chef has captivated an international audience with her unique recipes and vibrant personality, providing an authentic food experience by opening up her life to viewers. From children’s picnics and anniversary dinners to cocktails with her girlfriends, she creates effortless but impressive culinary fare in tune with her lifestyle. But food has always been more than just a career for Mtongana.
Growing up, she sourced fresh ingredients from her father’s backyard garden in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape to cook family dinners. Her focus was on finding healthy, nutritious options. The aspiring foodie learnt the value of knowing where your food comes from, and the role that culture plays in how you prepare it. Her first show, Cooking with Siba, ignored food trends in favour of conventional fare with a twist, such as mfino fritters or pizza with a pap base. Her unusual recipes stood out while still being relatable to a local and international audience. Mtongana’s next show debuted on The Food Network in 2013, and has since aired in over 100 countries. The second season of Siba’s Table took home a 2017 Silver Screen Award at the US International Film and Video Festival.
Mtongana’s accolades in the food industry are proof that she’s more than just the star of a cooking show. A Food and Consumer Sciences graduate of the University of Cape Town, she cut her teeth as a food writer and stylist for Drum Magazine. With three Galliova Food and Health Writers’ Awards for food journalism to her name, she also published a book in 2017. Welcome to my Table brought home two awards at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Mtongana firmly believes that her success carries the responsibility to help others. As a patron for Foodbank South Africa and a Global Impact Ambassador for Rise Against Hunger, she’s ensuring that the joy of food reaches all South Africans.