Covid was a tough time, I remember sitting at home contemplating what was going to happen if it all fell apart for my family and I. Suddenly having loads of time to watch TV I found myself on YouTube scanning chefs channels.
There are loads of great ones but there was one, that dare I say saved me from a dark place, Fatima Sydow Cooks. I still recall the first time I heard her voice; it was like being home, it was like a much loved aunty talking to you, soft, kind and filled with love “Hello everyone…” Fatima is such an authentic human being that the greeting of ‘everyone’ really felt like it included me (I still become emotional thinking about how much she helped).
So, to kick off a new series celebrating and sharing my favourite reads and watches I had to start by talking about Fatima. The undeniable queen of authentic Cape Malay cooking and possibly the inspiration for a whole generation of cooks (her lamb akhni is legendary), she is a successfully published author, with two gorgeous cookbooks, Fatima Sydow Cooks and Cape, Curry & Koesisters, and a wonderful honest YouTube channel, that is equally loved!
She creates all the content herself, sharing from her kitchen in Cape Town, you truly do feel like you are at home with a special friend. Her giggle, so contagious that I can’t help but smile simply thinking of it. Through all of her great success she has never lost the magic that makes her her, she has remained true to herself and her history, she has remained humble but proud of her success.
Fatima is also a wonderfully active member of her community, of which she is immensely proud, she is always active in charity, and she always helps out wherever she can.
Support this incredible chef by subscribing to her YouTube channel and following her on Facebook, also grab a copy of her cookbooks and make sure you save your piece of South African Cape Malay culture and history (in the process your tummy will say thank you)
A message to Fatima: “Chef you saved me from the dark, I feel immense gratitude and love for all you have done for me. Your kindness and love are a real inspiration and of course so is all you cook – wishing you well in this difficult time – much love and light for you I hope one day to get a chance to cook with you – Love Paul”