Celebrity chef David Higgs is living his dream
Cape Town - David Higgs has a passion for food. From his humble beginnings as cooking breakfast at a Cape Town hotel to owning his restaurant Marble, he is focussed on serving the best food to customers.
"Marble allows me the opportunity to showcase my passion, background and fire-skills," says the chef.
From Sunday, 13 August, David will be one of the judges on new reality cooking show My Kitchen Rules South Africa on M-Net at 18:00.
tvplus had a quick chat with the kitchen king.
What are your thoughts on the contestants for this series?
The contestants all demonstrate great team work – when one team member is down, it’s up to the other to pick up the pieces and vice versa. That is essentially what a kitchen is all about. The contestants have definitely surprised J’Something and I with their ideas and abilities so far. I think South African viewers are going to be impressed… but obviously when the pressure mounts, that’s when the drama starts.
As a judge, you always have to deliver a comment on contestants’ food. Has there ever been an outrageous reaction from a contestant(s)?
I wouldn’t say outrageous but there have been some intense emotions involved, which sometimes shows that you are cooking from the heart. Being home cooks, yes, it’s a competition and there are prizes involved, but essentially these people are cooking family recipes that they and their friends love – and you must criticise them. It’s tough.
Can you remember your favourite dish as a kid?
I grew up in Namibia. Some of my earliest food inspirations came from the ritual of gathering with friends and family around the fire and making genuine and delicious food. I have fond memories of cooking freshly caught fish on a beach fire.
What is important for you when looking at a plate of food?
There are a couple of things. First, it must be well-thought out and beautifully cooked – from the heart. I also look for attention to detail, presentation and great flavours. J’Something and I have been blown away by the standard of the food cooked by the contestants so far – it’s going to be a great show! Come for the food, stay for the drama!
And what’s been your worst kitchen disaster?
In the mid 2000s, we did an event for Elton John – it was a four-course meal for 440 people at a wine farm in Stellenbosch. After plating the cold starter, we put the plates on trollies and wheeled them into the back of a refrigerator truck. Unfortunately the brakes weren’t locked and two trollies rolled out the back of the truck. This was about 30 minutes before the start… we lost 140 plates.
You’re involved with a couple of charities…
I am passionate about developing young talent in the hospitality industry and educating the youth on healthy eating. I am one of the founders of Food Cycle, a scheme that aims to educate South African children about the benefits of short- and long-term healthy eating habits and proper nutrition. It also serves to introduce these youngsters to the hospitality industry.
And your advice to home cooks?
Cook from the heart and keep it simple. The best meals are those prepared with love.