Every month Spekko Rice chooses an inspiring chef to feature on our social platforms. This month we visit Chef Citrum Khumalo, president of African Chefs United.
He launched The Culinary Arts Association of South Africa (CAASA), a vibrant and dynamic association for professionals with the purpose to enhance and create awareness for indigenous foods and cultures in South Africa. Chef Khumalo owns Asidle Gourmet Catering and has trained over 140 professionals at his cooking school Culinary Passions Provider in Midrand.
Here is what we asked him:
How would you describe yourself?
Focused, with attention to detail and my passion is African cuisine development.
How did you become a chef?
I started as a humble dishwasher at Gillooly’s Farm restaurant in Modderfontein – then attended HTA, did some courses via Unisa, but my learning school was in hotels across the world. Amongst them, The Mount Nelson in Cape Town.
What were the highlights of your career?
I cooked for Madiba on many occasions when he was president. He liked his samp and beans and was very fond of chicken. He was did not like too much spice in his food, so his chicken was only lightly seasoned and cooked.
Then, with Virgin Atlantic, I cooked breakfast for Brad Pit. This included eggs Benedict and various different omelettes. He is a man who eats healthily.
Richard Maponya’s 60th birthday bash was also very memorable and a highlight.
If asked, I would want to cook President Obama a good plate of food. He could do with a good fish meal.
If I could choose, I would cook for groups of young people to introduce them to good food and new tastes
Where have you cooked most recently?
Cooked for a private party in Ghana.
What is your favourite South African meal?
I am a braai man. My braai will include fish such as fresh bream or tilapia; game meat, goat and lamb. A braai must have everything – a good pap and sous, grilled sweet potatoes and good company.
My fire – I braai with wood and buy it on the side of the road. There is a smokiness that only a wood fire gives to the meat.
Goat is the trend at the moment. It is actually the most eaten meat in the world. I marinate goat overnight in fruit such as green mango or papaya, thyme, some good wooded chardonnay and olive oil. This tenderizes the meat and enhances the flavor.
What is the best South African recipe ingredient?
Game fish and kingklip, Springbok and patti pans – did you know this is a Proudly South African ingredient? Then of course, peppadews.
What is your favourite rice dish?
I love Asian food – especially Vietnamese dishes. At home I cook easy rice stir-fries with tstatsoi
What are your other passions in life?
I follow Kaizer Chiefs and Manchester United, watch one day cricket and am a great Lions rugby supporter. I also play golf and can describe my handicap as “not dead”.
Which is your favourite restaurant?
Saigon in Rivonia.
More about Chef Khumalo and how to contact him:
Culinary Passions Provider offers a 3 years chefs diploma and a 1 year chef’s certificate. It is associated with City & Guilds and students are placed all over the world.
The school also does courses for waiters and workers in the food business.
A maximum of 24 students are trained at one time.
The school hosts Friday night theme evenings such as German, Thai or for example Hungarian Cuisine.
Chef Khumalo also hosts short introductory courses in various cuisines and he does demonstrations and dinner events on invitation.
Telephone: 011 025 5871.
Cellphone: 072 476 2109.
Facebook: Chef Khumalo or Culinary Passions Provider.