From Instagram foodie to published author, singer, J’Something says that loving what he does has made his hectic schedule of running a restaurant, hosting a primetime TV show and publishing a cookbook, a lot easier.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing and how did you make this possible?
My schedule is crazy. I am extremely busy with my music career for starters, and then I added a restaurant, a cookbook, and a primetime TV show to the agenda so things became a little hectic.
But I love what I do, so it makes it so much easier when it comes to getting things done.
Did you ever think, back in 2014 when your first cooking show, Something’s Cooking, was broadcasted that you’d be publishing a cookbook?
It was at that time that it became a possibility in my mind. I mean, if I could do a TV show, surely a cookbook was possible? I wrote my own cookbook about three to four times, changing it all the time because I, myself, wasn’t sold on it. For this version, I am totally sold!
There is a unique music inclusion in this book – can you tell us more about this?
It’s quite a simple one, to be honest. When I cook, I dance … So I want people to do the same.
Each chapter has one of my favourite DJ’s who has curated a playlist that ties into that chapter. It’s a very cool addition to the book that I am very proud of.
How would you describe your food style?
It’s a mixture of Portuguese and South African. It’s home cooking. It’s unpretentious. It’s fun.
What five ingredients are essential to you and will always be in your pantry?
Olive oil, chouriço, sea salt, garlic and chilli.
What is your comfort food and why?
It would have to be either a bowl of umngqusho or a bowl of feijoada. They’re both just such yummy things that hold so many memories for me.
What is a common mistake that most home chefs make, and to which you’ve found a great alternative?
To not taste food. Taste as you go along. That’s the best thing about being the cook … 🙂
What is your favourite kitchen tool?
Wow … that’s hard, but at the moment it’s my Thermomix.
What is your favourite herb, and why?
I would have to go with mint. It can really bring so many things to life and has a lovely aroma.
Recipe from the Chef
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup rice
knob of butter
2 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
2. Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron pot, add the onion and sauté until soft.
3. Add the rice and butter and fry until the rice starts to smell a little nutty, usually 5–8 minutes.
4. Add the stock, cover and place in the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the rice is soft and cooked through.
5. Remove from the oven and serve warm.