Chef Hope Malau
DRUM Food Editor and Chef Hope Malau grew up in Klerksdorp and admits his first experience with good food came about when he, as a young boy, accompanied his father to work at the mine kitchen. Since then he’s dreamt of seeing himself in Chef’s White. The Professional Cooking Academy graduate worked his way up then ranks from being a junior cook at The Tea Garden and then as Sous Chef at The Beach House Grill in Melkbosstrand. Now he’s at the helm of historical weekly magazine DRUM’s food department where he aims to create a platform that shares and encourages readers to cook by building on South Africa’s food heritage. Furthermore, Hope has also been awarded Food Writer of the Year 2015 at the prestigious Galliova Food Writer Awards.
A 4 year old Hope. Hope (19) ready for the kitchen.
Interview with Hope Malau
Spekko: Your favourite local ingredient?
Hope Malau: Pap.
SP: What would you cook when the days are dark and everybody needs a lifting of the spirits?
HM: Hope’s bbq steak and a chocolate malva pudding.
SP: What is your family’s favourite everyday food?
HM: Eggs – cooked in many ways.
SP: What will you eat in Paris – if budget is not an issue?
HM: Pain au chocolat (croissant with chocolate) and steak frites (well-cooked steak with fries).
Chefs he admires:
HM: Steven Freeborough – he taught me to be tough, aware and speak in a busy kitchen. Siba Mtongana – for making me her assistant when people were expecting a female, not a male. And she’s a straight talker. Dorah Sithole – who is always able to advise, and I always feel like hugging her when I’m close to her. My dad Elias Mokoena – his not a professional chef but he influenced me to love cooking.
HM: Incredible Spice Men – their crazy flavor combinations. Heston Blumenthal – I had to do an assignment about him in school and as I read about him I got fascinated about what he does to ingredients.
SP: What is your favourite restaurant?
HM: I love the street food scene and prefer spending my money on quality local cuisine.
SP: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
HM: I want more from this industry, and a bigger platform for recipe development.
SP: Do you grow your own veggies?
HM: No, I’m still renting, only growing herbs.
SP: What has been your greatest achievement?
HM: Galliova Awards in 2015 for “food writer of the year”.
SP: If not cooking, what are your hobbies?
HM: Recording music and spending time with my family.
SP: Who is your favourite fictional author?
HM: Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird
SP: What is your favourite cookbook?
HM: African Salad was a great book. Hoping to do mine soon…
SP: What is your pet hate in the South African foodie business?
HM: Not using real foodies to encourage growth in this industry.
SP: What, in your opinion, is the most underrated ingredient in local cuisine?
HM: Morogo (wild spinach)