( Images styled by Mari-Louis Guy at Cakebread Studio, photography Henk Hattingh)
Young, talented, vibrant, good-looking, joyful.. there are lots of superlatives that we can use to describe Zola Nene, but let us just say that we love this woman. It is always a happy moment to run into her, she is just one of those people that lifts the mood in any room.
We were lucky enough to do so twice in a week, first on the set of Expresso Breakfast Show and then when she was a judge to choose Deeghuys` best milk tart for the competition they ran in conjunction with the launch of our South-Africa`s Milk Tart Collection.
This gave us the chance to pose a few questions to her.
What are your favourite food trends at the moment?
– GIN! I love gin and the fact that gin has become more mainstream and that so many local gins are popping up everywhere…gin ‘o clock is my favourite time of the day!
– Artisinal Bread, there’s nothing quite like the smell and aroma of proper freshly baked bread. I love that more and more markets have an array of bread makers using their own natural cultured starters. Bread has never tasted more amazing than it does now…even in the midst of the Banting craze.
– Rainbow foods! I love that food has become more playful in the last year, the rainbow food trend took off like a rocket and I even indulged and created my very own rainbow bagels 🙂
– Freakshakes – This is another fun food trend that I love, decadent milkshakes, piled ridiculously high with goodies – I mean, what’s not to love.
Who are your favourite Instagrammers?
Your favourite comfort foods?
– Lamb curry (my mom’s is the best)
– Beef stew and dumplings (reminds me of my childhood)
– Lasagne (or any pasta dish actually)
– Samp and beans with curried mince (also a childhood favourite)
– Roast chicken (you can’t go wrong with plain and simple roast chicken)
Your Go-To dishes for entertainment?
– Tacos – I love doing a build-your-own taco station, it fells very communal and takes the pressure off because all the elements can be made in advance.
– Slow roasted lamb shouled and dauphinoise potaoes – this is a great dish for entertaining because it just takes care of itself in the oven, also, it holds very well and doesnt get ruined if guests arrive late.
– Paella – it looks impressive for a dinner party, but is surprisingly low effort
– Frozen parfait for dessert – I love it because I can make it in advance and just take it out of the freezer just before serving.
I’m SUPER excited about going to China for the Gourmand Cookbook Awards – I’ve never been, so i can’t wait to get stuck into the food and the culture. It’s still so surreal that my cookbook has been shortlisted for an award – how crazy, right?!?! I’m so incredibly proud and honoured that it has been so well-received. The success of the first book definitely has me itching to get going on book number two!
You may recognize them as “vetkoek”, but in the Nene household, we refer to them as amagwinya. This was one of my favourite treats as a child; actually it’s still a favourite even today. My mom didn’t make these very often when we were growing up, but when she did, it always put a huge smile on everyone’s face. I like to eat mine either plain while still piping hot, or I let them cool, cut them in half and spread with apricot jam and a slice of Gouda cheese.
4 cups cake flour
10 g instant dry yeast
1 Tbs white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 ½ cups warm water
Vegetable oil for frying
Place the flour, yeast, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix together.
Slowly add the water, a little at a time until a soft dough forms (you may need more or less water).
Tip onto a floured surface, and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (± 10 minutes).
Place into a greased bowl, cover with cling film then allow to prove for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Tip out onto a floured surface and press down to form an even layer.
Cut to form equal size roughly rectangular portions.
Drop into hot oil and fry until golden brown on one side before flipping over to cook on the other side.
Place into an empty pot or bowl with a lid and cover – this will keep the surface of the amagwinya soft.