Marie Claire SA Agenda Page – Curated by Ishay Govender-Ypma

 In this issue, meet travel and food blogger and writer, Ishay Govender. For Marie Claire, May 2014.

Marie Claire Agenda Lifestyle Feature - Page 1&2

When I’m not on the road, I’m fixed firmly to a desk, either at home, in the office, a coffee shop or pretty much any firm surface you can rest a laptop on. I’m a freelance food and travel writer, recipe developer and blogger at Food and the Fabulous® ( I have a burgeoning interest in African food anthropology and between assignments and the hours I spend connecting on social media, I am figuring out how to make a meaningful contribution here. Having worked with a number of social causes from help2read to the World Food Programme, cognisant of the disparities we face, particularly regarding food security and literacy, it’s important to me that we all try to make a small difference.

I enjoy sharing people-based stories either through essays or 140 character tweets, and the autonomy and freedom and I’m awarded with the freelance lifestyle, is a far cry from my pervious career as an attorney.

Food tours are the first activity I book when I travel, and it’s inspired me to put together a series of Fab Food Tours in Cape Town, some of which have been developed for the One & Only resort. The aim is to share food history and the modern food movements across the various, culturally dense areas of the city and beyond. My hope is to showcase Cape Town (and ultimately Africa) as a food destination, while being sensitive to the prevalent inequity.

This Agenda page shares some of my favourite food and immersive lifestyle experiences right now.


Enjoy the hottest flavours in your city


The very best way to explore any city is on foot with someone in the know. Join a tour by a city ambassador and eat your way around the out-of-sight spots that hardly make it to print, while enjoying street art and landmarks. Archaeologist Jo Butendach of Past Experiences will guide you on an inner city Jozi or Soweto walk. ( With storytellers Coffee Beans Routes ( in Cape Town you can explore the influences of various African cultures on the current city landscape, or enjoy traditional Xhosa food in the home of entertaining locals in Langa.


This consistent food trend on the lists over the past few years, was catapulted by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants hosting an award ceremony exclusively for Latin America. Consider the variety of ingredients and flavours, including chilli, lime, fresh fish, purple potatoes and nutty quinoa. Get your fix of Peruvian food at Keenwa and a mix at Orinoco in Cape Town, steak with Argentinian flair at Bar Ba Coa in Umhlanga, and Mexican-style comfort food at Mama Mexican in Maboneng.


Mondiall has taken over the space left vacant by the Green Dolphin at the V&A Waterfront, an old haunt of Capetonians for years. A collaboration between lauded chef Peter Tempelhoff and restaurateur Patrick Symington of Asoka, the menu will transport you on an international journey, with the history of each dish unpacked. It’s rare to find a restaurant that serves meals from breakfast to dinner, including tapas, every day of the week, with beautiful views to match. | Alfred Mall | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town


Chocolate is a perennial favourite that has stood the test of time. Indulge at Forever Cocoa who uses only the finest Belgian chocolate. The chocolate fondue and milkshakes made with dark chocolate ice cream are firm favourites. F21, Cnr Moss Kolnik and Arbour Road, Amanzimtoti, Durban


If you’re looking for a kitchen gadget, advice on how to sharpen your knives, or good quality hard-to-find ingredients such sumac and dried limes, Chef’s Warehouse is my pick. Top of the range cookbooks, a new lunch tapas offering as well as classes by chef Liam Tomlin make it a cook’s paradise. 92 Bree Street, Cape Town


  • Cooking classes are the new grey. Interactive, and culturally immersive, cooking classes are rapidly gaining popularity with travellers. It’s a fun way to meet new people, to shop the markets with experts and to learn classics you can make at home. This is the gift to Try Sense of Taste:
  • Food for Social Upliftment. NoMu partnered with De Rustica in the Swartberg pass, to create an excellent extra virgin olive oil, compelled by the estate’s focus on sustainability and the social upliftment of a very economically depressed region. Programs are in place to benefit the employees and to assist in lowering the high rates of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the community.
  • The Selfie – The trend, now incorporated in our everyday speak, is going nowhere, so best we embrace it. With the selfie remote, you can avoid bending your arms in awkward angles and image distortion, as your entire party gets ready for the selfie to rule all selfies. You’ll need to download a free app for the remote to work.
  • Afternoon Tea is getting posh. One rule we abide by is that, for a traditional tea, scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam must be presented, even alongside more modern cake pops and samooas. 54 on Bath in Rosebank serves a spectacular afternoon tea. Bookings essential.
  • Banting/LCHF – I am resolutely, still not a believer, but take note, this year will be dominated by the trend of low carb, high fat eating, made popular in South Africa by somewhat controversial Prof Tim Noakes. Many say they have lost weight this way.


  • The marriage between the croissant and the doughnut was met with widespread hysteria and endless queues outside New York bakeries. Many have balked at the insidious nature of the sweet beast. It’s had its 15 seconds of fame.Marie Claire Agenda Lifestyle Feature - Page 3&4



  1. Bo-Kaap Kitchen, Heritage recipes and true stories. For the first time, the stories of the Malay people have been told in this way, through the meals they serve. It has presented an otherwise shrouded part of our culinary history in an open and accessible manner.
  2. A thousand Hills to Heaven – Love, Hope and a Restaurant in Rwanda. This is the story of aid workers Josh and Alissa Ruxin, who create a restaurant in Kigali out of nothing, to provide jobs and skills to locals, who are recovering from the marring aftermath of genocide. It is the story of modern African renaissance.


I See a Different You (lifestyle)

Three creatives from Pimville, Soweto are challenging the way we see Africa, through a series of stylized portraits, sketches and most recently, a documentary, Warchild, about the life of a local boxer. Their tale of rising above poverty, the challenges of dyslexia and remaining humble, is an inspiration to Africans. I spent some time discussing their lives over local eats in Soweto recently.


Great food needs a suitable vessel to show off. Diana Ferreira makes bespoke pottery for some of the country’s top chefs, with interesting shapes with an organic feel.


Vintage drinks like sherry and fortified wines made into cocktails are en vogue. Muddle orange and lemon before adding to Monis Medium Cream and castor sugar, shaking vigorously. Pour un-strained into a Collins glass before finishing with a sprig of mint, fresh raspberries and an orange slice.

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