South Africa’s trailblazing Black meals author dies of virus | Existence
With stories about much more than just food, Sitole described how traditional African dishes brought joy to families and communities in troubled times. She was known for her distinctive approaches to familiar recipes and tips on how to cook them on a budget. It gained an enthusiastic readership and became a household name despite the ravages of violence against apartheid in South Africa’s townships.
When apartheid ended and Nelson Mandela became president in 1994, Sitole found new opportunities. She trained as a cordon bleu cook and received a diploma in marketing. She traveled through Africa to learn about the continent’s cuisine and produced the book “Cooking from the Cape to Cairo”.
In interviews, she pointed to her East African fish dish with basmati rice, which she had developed while traveling through the region, and the seafood sampler recipe, which is basically a paella that uses chopped corn instead of the traditional rice will.
In 2008, Sitole’s success was recognized when she was named editor-in-chief of True Love.
Sitole’s warmth and generosity is seen as opening the door for many black chefs, food writers and influencers who are successful in South Africa today.
“Mam (mother) Dorah’s approach to food was a mix of things. First, it was something that was driven by her background, she was very true to who she was, “said Siba Mtongana, one of South Africa’s best new chefs who started out as a food editor for Drum magazine and now has a television series and Cookbooks.