DISCOVER CHEF MOGAU SESHOENE NEW COOKBOOK AND ITS ABILITY TO BRING CULTURES TOGETHER
Take a trip with the Lazy Makoti’s chef Mogau Seshoene to the Iziko Museum and found out more about her latest cookbook.
Created by Chef Mogau Seshoene, The Lazy Makoti is a South African platform that celebrates food and it’s ability to bring people together. In tribute to our culture and food’s ability to unite us, Mogau chose the South African Museum in Cape Town to meet. A perfect spot to connect with, and be inspired by our history and culture.
We kick-off the meeting with an introduction to how Lazy Makoti came about.
“I was working as an auditor, and I already had this love for cooking, for food and heritage… From giving my friends cooking lessons, it then evolved into opening up a studio and yeah that became what I did. Teaching people to make very simple, very delicious food from our heritage. I then decided to put it all in a cookbook, and that cookbook went on to become the best selling cookbook.”
Mogau attributes the success of her cookbook to representation, because it served a market that wasn’t being serviced, she says. “A lot of people found that finally they can see a cookbook that is speaking to them.”
At the museum we had the pleasure of viewing the ‘Tata Madiba: Father of our democracy, Father of our Nation’ exhibition, a multi-disciplinary exhibition that pays tribute to Nelson Mandela’s life, from overcoming challenges to exploring the culture and traditions that informed his identity.
Dr Melissa Boonzaaier-Davids, Marine Biologist & Assistant Curator of Iziko Museum shares, “In the centre of the installation we have the ‘iMadiba’ Sculpture, that is a recreation of Madiba’s cell on Robben Island. It’s the exact same size and made into a bench. This was done by the artist Erhardt Thiel and people can sit on it while in the exhibition, and basically have conversation with each other.”
We also viewed the talking heads and heritage exhibition, which centres around ceramic masks made approximately 1000 years ago during South Africa’s Iron Age. They showcase common themes and rites of passage across cultures. Many of the artifacts on display are actually linked to food production, and the consumption of food… demonstrating that food is universal and cuts across cultures.
“I love cooking because I feel like it connects me to my mother, my grandmother, my family. I think everyone loves food, but there’s just something special about your mom’s food, or your aunt’s food. Food that’s connected to memories and special moments,” shares the chef before adding that cooking for her is about taking local ingredients and elevating them into delicious yet simple meals while adding a bit of heritage to the dinner table.
“My new cookbook promises to be bigger and better and include a big celebration chapter with everything Christmas and Easter. All the celebrations are going to be there so I’m very excited for you to have it in your home, in your kitchen to cook with, and to hopefully love it.”
We are exceptionally lucky to live in a country where so many unique cultures have come together to give us access to a culinary experience like no other. The Lazy Makoti is a gem who reminds us of this great treasure.
Q & A WITH MOGAU SESHOENE
What does ‘living better’ mean to you?
“Living better means having the time and means to do all the things that bring me happiness, peace and good health.”
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
“A legacy of a new narrative for our people and continent. A celebration of who we are and all that we are capable of.”
What 2 valuable lessons would you like to share with South Africa?
That character and integrity matters. I also encourage all to “do it with the fear” because fear should never stop us from pursuing our dreams.”
Where do you go to escape and connect with yourself?
“I spend the day at the spa, journal, read a good book and pray.”
Do you have an encouraging quote for us, to end off on?
“The dots eventually connect – all your hard work will count for something eventually just keep at it.”