Ndash dishes up the nosh
Nearly everyone living in any of the cities in this country has gone to elokshini to buy food they swear can only be bought there. It was this behaviour, coupled with a trip to China, that convinced entrepreneur Sithembiso Ndashe to start his food business.
"I was moved by how the Chinese celebrate their food culture, with no compromise. Every corner that you go there's a commercial [store], there's a street vendor that sells strictly Chinese food."
Ndashe then started Ndash Food Concepts fuelled by his passion for food. He brought traditional South African dishes to the 'burbs. He started out in Midrand in 2013 and has since expanded the areas he works in and his menu. He describes his business as a mobile restaurant, though he doesn't have a food truck.
"When I say mobile, we do pop-ups. In a way, we're basically mobile by bringing the food wherever we are doing work. Whether we're in a restaurant, or we form our own restaurant for the day."
A marketer by profession, Ndashe started messing around with the pots when he was in grade 8. His mother went back to school and not being a fan of some of the foods cooked by their nanny/helper he'd cook for himself and his little brother. His father, a working man, was also not a stranger in the kitchen.
"Everyone wants this kind of food but you have to travel to Soweto, Tembisa and Alex. Literally again, as a marketer I looked at the opportunity and I took the risk."
The 36-year-old lists people's diet and copycats as some of the challenges he's come across.
"People don't do something because they are passionate about it, they do it because they see someone else doing it. There was a point where some people stole images of mine and were using them as theirs. People think this thing is easy but if you don't really have any passion behind it, you're not going to get far."
Ndashe often partners with various brands to showcase the variety of their products in interesting ways.
"I've been going at it, I've had bad months, I've had bad years but because of passion, because there's a bigger story, you know every year there's something new, there's something we expand on or we grow on. That's why we've managed to stick around."
Cold weather warmers
The recent cold snap that had everyone burrowing into their closets for those trusty cold weather items was just the perfect backdrop for the launch of the new, limited edition of Johnnie Walker.
The whiskey brand in affiliation with cult status TV sensation Game of Thrones released their aptly named White Walker limited edition bottle at a grand soiree on Wednesday night.
Sowetan had a chat with radio and TV presenter Anele Mdoda, who was the MC for the evening, on hosting the perfect party in cold months.
"Things must be soupy, and also, the best way to make sure that your meat gives out a lot of gravy is to soak it in red wine. You first salt and leave it for 30 minutes and let the salt soak in and then put it in red wine and let it sleep. And obviously, your spicing and everything."
Mdoda's major don'ts are letting your guests wait for their food. She feels it adds to the homely ambiance to have your guests walk into your house with the aroma of cooked food.
She also suggests running your choice of seating by your guests, for instance if you're going to want guests to sit on cushions on the floor warn them, so the ladies can wear comfortable attire like pants.
"It's so uncomfortable for ladies when you're wearing a skirt or a dress to sit funny, because you want to be comfortable. You can have it as an option but don't have it as the only thing," she says.
Mdoda says that a table without ujeqe (steamed bread) in winter would be a crime.
Her drinks picks for winter are whiskey, because it keeps you warm, as well gin and wine.