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Monday, 10 April 2017 11:19

British chef Matt Tebbutt tastes South Africa

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Matt Tebbutt at Sabi Sabi Matt Tebbutt at Sabi Sabi Picture provided by Oxyg3n Media

Filming has completed on a new 10-part television food series - A Taste of South Africa  - with well-known British chef Matt Tebbutt as the show's presenter.  Produced by South African production company Oxyg3n Media (Married at First Sight SA, Brent Owens Extreme, Authentic, Unwrapped), A Taste of South Africa has already been snapped up by Discovery (for Africa and Poland) as well as by British network UKTV.  Further international sales are being handled by leading independent distributors DRG at the MIP TV market held in Cannes last week.

Matt is an acclaimed British chef and television presenter known for presenting Food Unwrapped on Channel 4. Series eight of this award-winning food show is now in production. Tebbutt, along with Jimmy Doherty and Kate Quilton, present the food and science series that travels the world to lift the lid on what's really in the food we eat.

He is also the new lead presenters of Saturday Kitchen on BBC1 having taken over from James Martin. Tebbutt recently made good use of his Geography and Anthropology degree, filming Kings of the Wild, a food and travel show for Discovery, which was broadcast on the channel on DStv earlier this year.

Tebbutt also presented Market Kitchen with Rachel Allen, Tom Parker-Bowles, Amanda Lamb and Matthew Fort, a long-running UKTV Food show that was an audience favourite for five years. He can also currently be seen on ITV in the UK, co-presenting with Susanna Reid, a series titled Save Money: Good Food.

A Taste of South Africa follows Tebbutt as he travels across the country discovering and exploring the diversity and flavour of the local foods that the southern tip of Africa has to offer. In the course of his journey, Tebbutt samples regional specialties and explores and savours food and drink rich with traditional heritage and culture. With his anthropological background, he peels back the history of South African cuisine from its historic beginnings up until today, speaking to and cooking with locals and uncovering fascinating food facts and stories.

Contributors include Xoliswa Ndoyiya, Mandela's personal chef, Mimi Jardim, doyenne of Portuguese South African, Mpho Tshukudu, co-author of the recent best-selling cook book Eat-Ting; acclaimed Burundian chef Coco Reinharz, co-author of To the Banqueting House: African Cuisine an Epic Journey and many more.

During the month-long shoot Tebbutt traversed the country, from Gauteng to the Free State, KwaZulu Natal and the Western and Eastern Cape, looking at the history of ingredients and recipes of local foodstuffs such as sorghum, maize, piri piri, chisa nyama, bunny chow, umphokoqo, koeksusters, waterblommetjie bredie and snoek.

In one episode, Tebbutt travels to Sabi Sabi and is surprised to learn that in South Africa, venison covers meat from a wide range of wild animals and not - as in the UK - only from deer.

Tebbutt, who it was recently announced, has replaced James Martin as the presenter for the long-running BBC One Saturday Kitchen show, says: "This is the show that I've always wanted to make. To explore, learn, taste and understand such a totally diverse country such as South Africa is a really exciting prospect for me. It's been a fascinating journey meeting the people behind the food, learning about the history of the dishes and expanding my own knowledge of the local cuisine."

So enamoured is he of South Africa, that Tebbutt is planning on bringing his family back to the country on holiday later this year.

"I cannot wait to show my wife and children some of the fabulous places that I have been to," he says, "especially some parts of KwaZulu Natal, Cape Town and of course Sabi Sabi."
Says series producer Rebecca Fuller-Campbell:  "South Africa provides such a culturally diverse, exciting, engaging and exquisite environment in which to pursue the love of food. The fascinating history of this country and the sheer variety of cultures means that every episode will offer a fresh and different look at the rich gastronomic traditions of the country."

Text: Press release on behalf of Oxyg3n Media by JAG Communications.


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