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Ten Experiences to enjoy at Food Indaba 2024

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By Temo Mpodi

Food Indaba 2024 is taking place with various events and venues across Cape Town, including the V&A Waterfront precinct, Mowbray, Langa, Philippi, Lynedoch and Stellenbosch, holding food experiences you will love and certainly choose from. The theme for this year is Oikonomos, the Greek root of the word Economics, literally meaning ‘home management’.  The event will take place on the 22nd of July 2024 to the 4th of August 2024.

1.            Oikonomos Dinner (ticketed event)

Setting the tone for Food Indaba is the opening Oikonomos dinner, with a menu conceptualised by KwaZulu-Natal born and raised chef Mmabatho Molefe. Molefe was named one of the 50 Next, a global list of people shaping the future of gastronomy, and is known for showcasing African ingredients celebrating Nguni and Zulu food. Her Oikonomos menu will explore food made at home. While the opening dinner is for invited guests and media only, the dinner will be repeated as a ticketed event open to the public during the Indaba.

2.            Migrating Home (ticketed event)

Rwandan-born chef Jane Nshuti journeyed from Rwanda to South Africa to escape the genocide in her home country. Along her long journey as a refugee, she imbibed the culinary traditions of many African countries, each one telling a story of home. Jane has made her home and family in South Africa, and for this event she narrates her story of finding home across a multi-course plant-based African menu influenced by Rwanda, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa.

Migrating Home: A Dinner with Jane Nshuti, Friday 02 August. 

3.            Angling for Good Catch (public booking at participating restaurants)

The Western Cape is an internationally recognised source of quality fish, but not all fishing practices benefit our oceans and coastal communities.  Get a taste of sustainably caught fish at selected restaurants throughout Food Indaba at the V&A Waterfront, through curated menus featuring sustainable fish as well as presentations on how diners can support tangible changes in seafood sourcing and consumption.

V&A Waterfront restaurant precinct. Sunday 28 July

4.            Public Conversation: State of the City and HLPE Food System Reports’ (Free online event)

Through the power of the internet, Food Indaba ensures that anyone can benefit from the unpacking of significant new findings on our food system, and by extension, their homes. A Public Conversation live-streamed webinar will explore two new significant reports, with audience participation at CTV Studios. In the conversation, The Committee on Food Security’s High-Level Panel of Experts report which is being launched in early July, will be explained as well as 15 reports of the AfrifoodLinks State of the Food System, which represent different regions of Africa will be compared and discussed.

Public Conversation, Wednesday 24 July.

5.            Tea with a Farmer (ticketed event)

In today’s food economy, there are often at least six degrees of separation between consumers and the farmers who grow their food. Join in a conversation with a small-scale farmer to learn more about the realities, joys and challenges of farming today, as well as share in a cup of tea. Bring your sun hats, your wellies and your curiosity.

Oranjezicht City Farm and 16 on Lerotholi gallery in partnership with the Lerotholi Food Garden, Tuesday 23 July, Thursday 25 July, Tuesday 30 July and Thursday 01 August.

6.            The Wine Shaq (ticketed event)

Revel in a curated dinner featuring black producers of wine and other contemporary and traditional beverages, along with traditional South African dishes, led by Nomhle Zondani of The Wine Shaq. Zondani represents a portfolio of black-owned wine brands, and along with some of her producers, will celebrate isiXhosa culinary traditions and a new generation of wines and winemakers.

Makers Landing, Saturday 03 August

7.            Foraging For Weeds, Harvesting For Life (ticketed event)

One person’s weeds are another’s plentiful and nutritious source of nourishment. Famed wild food harvesting ambassador Loubie Rusch will host a group gathering session of wild ingredients in the gardens of the Sustainability Institute. Participants will choose and pick some wild foods to take home to experiment with. For lunch, the group will share a meal with Loubie prepared by the Green Cafe at the Sustainability Institute, that showcases the variety, versatility and tastiness of the ingredients discovered while walking the gardens and gathering!

The Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch, Friday 26 July. 

8.            Kids Cookout (ticketed event)

Cooking is empowering as well as fun and kids can learn some crucial life lessons – like how to nourish themselves – with the use of a whisk and a wooden spoon. Children ages 5 – 10 will lead their parents, guardians or older siblings in a culinary journey of invention and discovery with a delicious conclusion. Run by Food Jams, creator of magical culinary events, this is a fun and interactive way for kids to get comfortable behind the stove.

Kids and parents guided food adventure. Saturday 27 July.

9.            16 on Lerotholi Art Cafe (ticketed events)

This year, Food Indaba delivers two art-inspired and inspirational events. Have lunch with an artist at the 16 Lerotholi Art Cafe, a series of art in action with the artist as an exhibition, presiding over a menu that is a celebration of home. The 16 on Lerotholi Art Cafe celebrates the nexus of art and food with a series of artist hosted lunches including the likes of Parusha Naidoo and Tapiwa Guzha at the Langa gallery.

At the V&A Waterfront’s Luxury Lane, don’t miss the photography exhibition of recipes and meals cooked and enjoyed in African homes, which features a series of 12 works by winners of the ICLEI Africa African photography competition.

Langa Artist lunch and exhibition. Friday 26 July, Saturday 27 July and Friday 2 August.

10.         Food Systems Walking Tour Cape Town CBD (ticketed event)

Whether it’s samoosas, vetkoek or sorghum popcorn, the story behind Cape Town’s multi-faceted food culture and current food reality is in the streets. These three-hour guided intimate walks are guided by accredited tour guides Adeola Oyebade and Keith Sparks, each adding layers and depth of understanding through personal experience: Adeola as an African immigrant who will expound on pan-African diaspora food systems and Keith, who has focus on focusses on fresh fruit spaza shops and the role fruit vendors play in our food system. Both walks cover a circular circuit starting at Heritage Square around the CBD.

Cape Town CBD Food Systems Walking Tour. Saturday 27 July and Saturday 3 August.

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