Foodgasm: My very first Chef’s Table

One of the things I wanted to do in 2017 but failed was to have a pop-up restaurant.

I planned to have one back home in Bushbuckridge to introduce my work to my people back home and hopefully launch my business there. My thinking was that because it’s home, a lot of people would positively respond and therefore come out in their numbers to dine with me.

I was wrong.

In fact, I had to cancel all plans because no one was available to come and join me.

As sad as I felt at the time cancelling this, there was a weird feeling of relief. Relief that I wasn’t going to deal with the pressures and fears of scrutiny and subsequent rejection from those who would hate the food. I felt relieved that I no longer had to fear to let people and myself down. I did not have to be scared anymore.

Nonetheless, I promised myself I’d try again in 2018 — and that’s the year I lost my job! I was retrenched when a publication I worked for at the time, HuffPost SA, closed its doors on Mzansi soil.

My daughter, Nyeleti, was not born yet but I was due soon after that retrenchment so I decided to focus on that rather.

On August 23, 11 months after having Nyeleti and almost three years since the failed pop-up, I delivered my very first food event, my Chef’s Table.


Held at my house in Midrand, I transformed my garage into a restaurant where I served some of my absolutely fave dishes.

The menu:

About 30 of my close friends came through to support and witness the birthing of something so close to my heart. To see me curate, cook and deliver a menu for them. This do was by invite hence no social media pass etc.

I cooked up a storm. I wanted people to remember the food I put in from of them.

Here’s what I made:

As this year draws to a close, I’d just like to give myself a big pat on the freaking bag for FINALLY getting the show on the road.

In 2020, there will be more those.

The confident me will cook her socks off you.

Duenna MM

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