With her infectious smile, a penchant for travel and food, and a seemingly boundless amount of energy, it's hard to keep up with Kamini Pather. Here, the Cape Town based foodie shares her thoughts on hosting a dinner party and her approach to style.
Photography by Niquita Bento.
What is your advice on preparing for a dinner party? Talk us through your steps and organisation:
"You can never be too prepared. Even though my dinner guests are friends, it feels like my time to shine so I never want to be caught in a situation where things don’t go to plan. I try to do as much before the people arrive so that I can spend time with my humans instead of being in a kitchen - after all, it’s a dinner party and not a restaurant event."
"Always prepare dessert the day before. Plan something amazing but something fuss free - passion fruit pavlova, frozen yogurt, vegan snicker bars - anything that you can get out of the way early on."
"Sharing boards or build-your-own are also favourites because it gets people interacting at the table. Fondue is a goodie, tacos, big bowls of veggies that need to be passed around."
"Braising mains is also a big time and slog-saved. It’s about getting a few roasting pans ready to throw into a hot oven and letting them hang out there while you hang out with your people."
Name three dream guests and why:
"David Chang - (he has to bring a treat from Milk Bar) - he seems funny and knowledgable about food and then some."
"Anthony Bourdain - he was friends with David and I think they could be a hoot at the same table. Anthony Bourdain was also so much more than a good hero to me. He had a honestness that I wish I could live. "
"Tracy Ellis Ross - I am insanely curious about her and how her mum, Diana Ross, has helped her speak her mind. She has been able to really say the things that many of us have been thinking. She’s also got a great sense of humour, from what I can see. My dinner guests need to be fun. "
What ingredients would we always find in your fridge?
"Chickpeas. I am obsessed with chickpeas. They’re high in protein, easy to turn into a curry to serve with nacho chips and guacamole; or into a coconut milk hummus; or to coat in zatar and crisp in the oven. The more I delve into living a more plant-based life, the more experimental I have become and using Aquafaba (chickpea water) as an egg replacement has been life altering."
Favourite spring produce?
"Kumquats - my grandmother makes this insane achar with kumquats that has a distinct sweet-spicy-citrus flavour that I adore."
Describe your perfect weekend getaway:
"I love the ocean. Growing up in Durbs and now living in Cape Town means that the sea is always close by. My perfect weekend away would be close to the sea - beach access, if possible - with space for my dog; a pizza oven, a large central stove with a long table and ample room to lounge. A weekend get away should be about cooking, beautiful wine, board games and living in swimming costumes."
Both cooking and styling are creative, how do you express yourself through your clothes?
"Minimal. I like to keep my clothes and my food simple so not over-cooking an ingredient but rather allow the produce to shine. Same with clothes - I would rather buy a consciously sourced cotton t-shirt than a bold, layered something else. Less is always more, in my book. "