Tobi Jooste is an old hand when it comes to singing and writing, but now he is also the proud author and compiler of a brand new cookbook, There’s a man in my kitchen.
The singer, who in 2013 wrote a hit novel with the title, There’s an Eiffel Tower in his estatesaw the light of day, tells in RNews’s studio with his heavy Karoo accent how he loved cooking from an early age, but never thought he would publish a cookbook.
As the eldest of two sons, he learned early on on his growing up farm between Loxton and Victoria West that if you want something sweet, you have to make it yourself.
“Or, if the phone rings while you’re running past the kitchen door, you’re simply called closer to come and stir the food pots, even though you can barely see into the pot,” says Tobi, who these days lives in Northcliff, Johannesburg.
“I grew up under the influence of my mother and grandmother, who always allowed us to help in the kitchen.”
There’s a man in my kitchen ‘s recipes each consist of only three ingredients. Tobi says he deliberately decided to make each recipe with only three ingredients.
“It was a challenge, but there were a few factors that I took into account: The first factor is economic. It’s expensive to make food and not everyone can keep six different cheeses or other expensive ingredients in the house,” he explains.
“Time is also a factor, especially with load shedding. One does not have time to roll out puff pastry for hours or follow other long recipes.
“I also tried to use things that one would normally have in the house. Or, as with the pancake recipe, where I eliminate the use of both sugar and milk and use one can of condensed milk. I had to work smart to put the recipes together.”
However, Tobi cavalierly admits that he is not suddenly a food expert. “I am a singer and writer with a passion for cooking. I’m not competing with food experts now and I’m not ashamed to say I make shortcut food.”
There’s a man in my kitchen contains stylish photos and, among other things, easy starters, main courses, slow cooker recipes and “other goodies like fudge and popcorn with bacon and brandy sauce. You will lick your fingers in front of the TV.
“The book really contains something of everything. These are easy recipes with which children can also develop a love for cooking.”
Tobi tells the idea to There’s a man in my kitchen was born when he was trapped in his family’s beach house in Mossel Bay during the early 2020 lockdown.
“I started experimenting with food in the small kitchen, because at least we could still go to the store. Later I started cooking for the neighbours, each time in exchange for a bottle of wine,” he laughs.
Tobi is holding house concerts until December this year in aid of the South African Animal Cancer Association, with half of the income being donated to this charity.
“I visit people’s houses with my piano and I cook something from the book. I sing a variety of songs while we have a great time and light a fireplace.
“I believe that cooking is not just about eating. This is when we come to sit, hang out and use all our senses while communicating with people.”
- For orders from There’s a man in my kitchenor inquiries about house concerts and other shows, send an email to (email protected) or order the book Naledi’s website.
- Listen to the full studio interview with Tobi Jooste at the top of the report.