Deena Naidoo, MasterChef South Africa and Spekko Rice
Deena Naidoo, winner of the first South African MasterChef competition, will be writing The Post newspaper recipe pages every Wednesday for the next few months.
Sponsored by Spekko Rice, the pages appear every Wednesday in The Post, a tabloid newspaper aimed mainly at the Indian market.
The selection by The Post of Deena as food writer further enhances Deena’s association with Spekko.
In 2011, Deena was the winner of the Deena Naidoo Spekko Rice Cook Idols competition staged at the Good Food & Wine Show in Durban. Deena who is a passionate home cook is in “real life” an IT specialist in Durban.
The inspiration for the winning dishes in this competition came from a visit he undertook to the Coconut Coast in India where he stayed in the city of Kerala. “I mixed the Indian love of nuts, coconut infusions and creamy tastes, with the fresh and crisp fish”.
“Massively excited” to be writing for his “home crowd”, Deena says he hopes to makes the food pages “alive” with stores from his life, the cooks who inspired him, and the stories about chefs he admires.
As the period over September and October is an auspicious time when some Hindus abstain from any form of meat for a period of 30 days, Deena will include at least one vegetarian option per week during this period of Purattasi 17 September – 16 October.
The first recipes appear in The Post on Wednesday 3 October. They include a Cashew nut and coconut rice dish; and a delicious Lemon rice with flaky fish – both using Spekko’s Pure Basmati Aromatic Indian Rice; and a baked rice pudding with pistachios. The nuts introduce both flavour and texture to the dessert.
Deena, a cricket fan was invited to cook for the Proteas in England this year – a highlight of his life. He is also a keen fisherman and handyman. He is married to Kathy and has two children Aarya and Theslin. His stepson Navesh also lives at home.