Fueled by doing good, Feed Mzansi arrives in Durban, where private chef Linda Mnikathi joins hands with the Durban Child and Youth Care Centre in Glenwood to cook an absolute classic one-pot wonder – that tastes better than takeout and is 100% kid approved.
We’re just about halfway through our road trip for a good cause and making our first pitstop in Durban. Hop in the passenger seat and follow along, as chefs and foodies partner with Food Lover’s Market stores and youth care centres across the country, whipping up a bounty of nourishing meals perfect for growing kids.
Road tripping between Cape Town and Johannesburg has been one big adventure, but Durban really showed off with its warm weather and wheel-y friendly people.
This week, Chef Linda prepares an amazingly delicious vegetable stir-fry for 110 boys and girls, taking advantage of the colourful, crunchy vegetables offered at Food Lovers Market, Malvern.
“The reason I chose a vegetable stir-fry is because vegetables contain so many nutrients that the kids actually need, and I have some fruit on the side as a dessert for them as well,” says Chef Linda.
While making his way through the grocery aisles, chef Linda uses his senses to touch, and smell the healthy fruit and vegetables, picking the freshest and most aromatic produce, to cook-up his flavourful stir-fry, which he’ll be tossing in a sweet and savoury sauce, as well as immune boosting garlic and ginger.
Fun Food Fact: Did you know that garlic and ginger have potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties?
Despite the early morning wake up call, and long commute, Chef Linda’s personality shines through as he dances through the store, chats with the staff, and shares Feed Mzansi’s inspiring message with everyone he comes across.
Arriving at Durban Child and Youth Care Centre, Chef Linda wastes no time, and starts slicing, dicing, and chopping fresh veggies for his sensational stir-fry – and staff are eager to help, sneak a selfie and learn from Chef Linda, who has been named a rising star by GQ Magazine.
The Durban Child and Youth Care Centre strives to give children who’ve been orphaned, abandoned, neglected or abused, another chance of a happy childhood. They provide a safe home, all the daily necessities, education and encouragement to help them develop into healthy, well-adjusted kids. Wherever possible, the organisation works with the family to enable children to return home. Because every child needs a place to belong.
Taking us on a tour of the facility, Nicolette Modicka, Development and Relationship Manager, says that the organisation caters close 1000 meals a month for the children in their care. “Fruit and veg is an important item that is needed for everyone,” she adds, thanking Food Lover’s Market for their past contributions.
While chef Linda puts the finishing touches on his lunchtime feast, the children start trickling in, and can’t help but comment on the appetizing aroma that fills the air. But before they can make their way to the dining hall, homework needs to be checked, uniforms need to be packed away neatly and hands need to be washed.
Picky-eater-proof, Chef Linda’s vegetarian spread is simply lip smackingly delicious, and the children return for second and third helpings of fruit – which Chef Linda carefully selected for its high vitamin C content.
Fun Food Fact: Vitamin C is what's known as an antioxidant. This means it's a 'repair and protect' vitamin, helping to keep children’s body cells healthy and protecting them from infections.
“Fruits and vegetables contain so many vegetables that kids need, because they need to focus at school and play. A well-balanced diet is so important, and you can never go wrong with fruits, vegetables and lots of water,” says Chef Linda.
A healthy outside starts from the inside and as empty plates make its way back to the kitchen, the children are eager to play and join their friends on the playground.
“Nothing warms my heart like a happy child,” says Chef Linda. We’ve all heard the saying: "It’s not he destination, it’s the journey.” But for us, the best thing about our road trip across the country has been the extraordinary children, and remarkable caregivers we’ve met along the way.
At the end of the video series, one lucky chef with the most votes will receive R25 000 to donate to their featured child and youth care centre.
VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED
Our charitable road trip across the country has come to an inspiring end. As a thank-you to our readers who have followed and voted along our hopeful journey, Food Lover's Market has rewarded nine lucky voters with a R2000 Food Lover’s Market voucher each.
Chef Rozanne Taljaard received the most entries in the Feed Mzansi competition and donated the R25 000 prize to Khayalethu Youth Centre.