Celeb chef, restaurant owner and My Kitchen Rules SA judge David Higgs, talks to us about his all-time favourite food and what riles him in the kitchen.
Where does your love of food stem from?
I grew up in a small fishing village in Namibia, and most days started with a fishing trip with my dad, then we’d eat our catch for lunch. One of my earliest baking memories is plaiting koeksisters with my grandmother in our kitchen. So, food has always been woven into the fabric of my life.
What’s your favourite food?
Comfort food. Nothing beats gnocchi with pesto or Napoletana sauce. Another favourite is stuffed galjoen cooked on an open fire – it was the first fish I ever caught, so I’m a bit sentimental about it.
Do you have a favourite meal of the day?
I could happily eat breakfast three times a day. Even though I cooked it for years in hotel kitchens, I still can’t resist a good fry-up.
What riles you in the kitchen?
I’m considered a bit of a grumpy chef, but it irks me when people lose their wit while cooking. If something is burning, take it off the heat; don’t panic. A friend of mine says cooking is 90% common sense and 10% skill – I wish I’d come up with that.
Is there a downside to being a well-known chef?
Sometimes, I’m not invited to dinner because of what I do. Friends think I’ll be critical of their meals, but I’m not like that at all. I’ll never find fault with food that’s cooked from the heart. I managed years of my mom’s overcooked meat, didn’t I?
How do you pass the time when you’re not in the kitchen?
I love anything with wheels – I’m a huge car fanatic, I go cycling as often as I can, and then there’s my motorbike. Often, on a Saturday morning, I’ll get on my bike and ride out to Harties. When I’m really in need of a break, I’ll book a few nights at a remote island hotel.
I enjoy pure ‘barefoot luxury’ where I don’t have to get dressed up for dinner or cook my own food. I want to unwind in peace, so that by the end of the trip I’m basically speaking in grunts!
Have you enjoyed being part of My Kitchen Rules SA?
It’s been amazing. A highlight is working with my fellow judge J’Something. He has so much energy and a unique ability to lift moods, even at 2am when we’ve been filming for six hours straight. We’ve also got the good cop bad cop thing down to a fine art.
- Season 2 of My Kitchen Rules SA airs every Sunday at 6pm on M-Net, DStv channel 101