Parusha NaidooParusha Naidoo is a vegan chef based in Joburg, who is known for sharing ideas about food through teaching cooking classes, creating pop-up food events, making food-themed art and chatting to anyone who enjoys talking about food. Through her creative projects, Parusha aspires to break the misperception that vegan food is unsatisfying. See Parusha’s chili bites recipe. What is your favourite festive dish and why? It’s difficult to pick just one favourite festive dish. My family celebrates Christmas even though we aren’t Christian. Usually the menu is a hybrid of British and Indian influences, including dishes like roast chicken, samosas, trifle, briyani and macaroni and cheese. The choice of sharing the chilli bites recipe is because they are a favourite from my childhood and universally delicious. The ingredients are more than just “inspired by”, they are a part of South African and Indian cuisine. I love the taste and smell of fresh coriander, mint and roasted spices.
Give a Fork blog
Varsity friends and fellow graphic designers Tamzyn La Gorce and Kaeli Justus document their vegetarian cooking experiments on their blog Give a Fork, which they started as a means to explore more of their creative interests — photography and illustration — plus create delicious dishes that are sustainable sourced. Their site is a great source for the sweet-toothed, vegetarian or not. See Tamzyn’s Christmas Trifle recipe. See Kaeli’s Christmas Mince Pie recipe.Do you have a stand-out memory, which you associate with your dish? Tamzyn: Dessert is my favourite part of any festivity and Christmas is no different. I remember my gran, who was the matriarch and in charge of all Christmas food, always made sure I had my very own bowl of trifle — banana free. I guess it’s the little things that make you feel special and my love for food definitely started with my family. As my gran got older, my mom handled more of the cooking and dessert making, and she only changed one thing; she added chuckles instead of regular chocolate.
Kaeli: It’s amazing how many of our memories are about our grandmothers. Mine isn’t a particular memory but a mash up of Christmases spent sitting on my grandparent’s floor eating first the pastry edges of the mince pie and then the rest; while my Nana fussed about how much I was messing and asking if I wanted another.