“Twins in the kitchen? It’s always double trouble. We have so much fun – we sing, we dance, we make jokes, but we always get the work done,” say Tebo and Lebo Ndala.
Hailing from Pretoria, these 26-year-old siblings decided to turn their passion for cooking for their family and friends into a profession. They run a private chef business, freelance as assistant food editors and stylists, and are ambassadors of Laager Rooibos Tea.
They’re also recently launched their first cookbook, Food Stories: Our favourite recipes with love from the twins (Human& Rousseau, R350).
They tell us more about their food journey, their new cookbook and more:
From Mamelodi, where we were born, to Los Angeles in the US. That’s where we attended a cultural programme as well as studying at UCLA. We taught the Americans about our braai culture and learnt a lot about Thanksgiving festivities and the traditional dishes for the celebration.
We live, cook, eat and socialise together and it really helps that we really have the same interests.
We are both equally skilled in the kitchen. We think it’s because we take time to teach each other and improve each other’s skills.
When we aren’t cooking and eating we are avid readers and love visiting cute restaurants and tea shops.
Our cookbook, Food Stories, is our journey of our life and represents different things for each of us:
- Lebo: The most important part of the journey is the beginning, where we came from and where we grew up.
- Tebo: For me it’s the journey we have travelled – getting to experience different cultures and connecting through food – that means a lot to me.
If home was a person, it would be our grandmother Koko. She’s amazing. Yes, she supported our quest to go to chef school and has been our biggest fan ever since. She taught us how to make the more traditional dishes and how to make pap properly.
Our biggest influence as well has been our mom, Dimpho. She’s an amazing cook too and she sparked that passion for sure.
Of all the recipes in our recipe book three favourites stand out:
- The creamy samp with spinach and corn that reminds us of home and Koko;
- The oxtail pepper soup – it means a lot because it’s a blend of Western and South African cultures; and
- The chilli chocolate brownies, because that’s the best combination we’ve come across so far.
Disasters in the kitchen? Yes, of course. We had a disaster hosting a flatbread pop-up by using the wrong pans and the breads got stuck in the pan! We had to redo everything with very little time to spare.
What’s next? We really want to become a household brand, travel the world and reach different people. And open a With Love From The Twins cooking school one day.