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10 Questions For: Carina Truyts
Best known for her budget cookbook, Yum-Mo, this charismatic anthropology masters student-cum-chef wants to change the way we understand food in South Africa
1. How would you describe what you do for a living?
I'm stirring away at a few different pots. I’m doing my Research Masters in Social Anthropology at UCT, trying to understand how people strategise around nourishment in the first thousand days in a small winelands town. I write things sometimes on websites and blogs and places that see value in my journ degree. Then I hustle as a private chef in Hermanus in December/ Jan (that’s my current thang – tumblr.yum-moprivatechef). I can’t say much about my book (Yum-Mo: Vrolike, vars resepte vir beginners en studente) – I don’t do anything really except sell a few copies every now and again and move them onto the top shelves of bookstores if someone in my family hasn’t already done that. I also try in vain to tweet and bleat on social media (encourage me - @yum-mo - if you fancy).
2. What is your most vivid childhood memory?
Yoh. Tough. I used to run and ride and tumble about with a band of boys in this small village we lived in in the Lesotho highlands. I rode my bicycle down a sheer cliff face once. There was blood (big shocker there). That was not clever. Don’t try to dare me to do any such thing again.
3. If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, for dinner, who would they be and why?
1. Foucault. We need to talk.
2. Hatshepsut. A legitimately mysterious, formidable and incredibly powerful woman who actually ruled Egypt. Need to ask her how that went and introduce her to dear Michel.
3. Frida Kahlo. Can you JUST IMAGINE this dinner?
4. If you ever found yourself auditioning for a music reality TV show, what song would you sing and why?
I would never, ever, audition for a music reality show. My school singing teacher rather rudely told me that I couldn’t sing. I pelted her with over-ripe mulberries. I would do the same to judges on idols and am thus incapable of imagining what I would perform.
5. How would you complete this sentence? The South African cabinet should include a Minister of_____________________.
A minister of anthropology. Who makes sure that all the appropriately relevant and important things we learn through research and theory make their way into policy and parliament and the daily lives of people we work with.
6. What would you say is the biggest misconception about you?
That I want to cook you breakfast.
7. What is your (honest) opinion of Cape Town?
It’s beautiful and brilliant and I don’t want to live anywhere else. I just wish it reflected its place in this country and its people more fairly. It’s a beautiful, brilliant white middle/upper class enclave for the most part.
8. What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today?
Fear of failure and the shame it (seems to) carry along with it.
9. What's the one thing you'd like to achieve before you die?
Broadly, I’d like to make a change to how food is seen, understood, managed and eaten in at least one corner of South Africa.
10. Which well-known South African personality would you, without a doubt, be able to beat in a street fight and why?
Yolandi Visser. She’s feisty, but I reckon I could hold her down by her mullet.
Photo courtesy of Michael Salzwedel
CapeTownMagazine.com’s 10 Questions project gets to know some of the Mother City’s most creative and inspiring people. From television personalities and musicians to politicians and entrepreneurs, we find out more about well-known and up-and-coming Capetonians. You can follow #CapeTownMag10Q on Twitter and Facebook to track recent interviews or read more here about our other awesome 10 Questions candidates.
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