Meet the authors of the exciting new local cookbook, Food Stories

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Food Stories is twins’ Tebo and Leno Ndala’s concoction of their favourite food. Expect quick and easy recipes as well as ones worth the effort.
Twin sisters Tebo and Lebo Ndala, who both have a passion for food and cooking, take us through their journey to creating their beautiful new cookbook, Food Stories: Our favourite recipes with love from the twins. We find out where their inspiration comes from and what’s next on their agenda.

Q: When did your love for cooking begin?

We were raised in East Pretoria by our mother and grandma who were both great cooks and so we fell in love with cooking at a very young age. Our mother is amazing in the kitchen and we definitely draw a lot of inspiration from her.

Q: What is one of your earliest memories of cooking?
Making scones with our mother. We’d be in the kitchen with her mixing the dough, licking the battered spoon while she wasn’t looking, and watching as she baked.

Q: How did this cookbook come about?
We have a food and lifestyle blog called With Love From The Twins where we share recipes and stories of our travels and off the back of that we were approached by NB Publishers to put a cookbook together, which took us by surprise because we are quite new in the game. Most of the dishes in the book are from our blog.

Q: What inspires your kitchen experiments?
Our travels and the different cultures we've been exposed to along the way. We visited Thailand when we were in high school and went to a cookery class in Bangkok. That’s when we really fell in love with Thai food. We also lived in America with different host families on a cultural exchange program with UCLA. Lebo lived with a West African family and that’s where the inspiration came from for our jollof rice recipe. We always argue with our friends about whether Nigerian or Ghanian jollof rice is better. A consensus wasn’t ever reached which is why we thought to put a South African spin on the recipe.

Q: What do you love most about South African food?
South Africans have a great appreciation for different flavours – we don’t do bland and we’re not shy with our spices!

Q: So let’s talk about the twin thing – you obviously both love to cook, but just how similar are you in other respects?
We are very similar! Aside from cooking, we both love reading and have a shared interest in finding hidden-gem coffee shops where we spend a lot of our time.

Q: Any new recipes you’re working on?
We recently visited China, which is why the hotpot is at the top of our list.

Q: You talk about wanting to give back – how do you plan to do this?
We want to educate people on how to plant and grow their own food. In a poverty-stricken continent like Africa, where kids are still dying of starvation, this is important, especially when you consider that South African soil is rich and the weather optimal for food growth. We want to help make sure nobody goes to bed hungry.

Q: What’s next for you? 
We want to bring people together through food and make cooking fashionable, and hopefully create a space where people can learn how to cook and develop the same love for it that we have.

Take a look at these recipes extracted from Food Stories, Our favourite recipes with love from the twins here.

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