Always wondered which brilliant chefs and stylists are behind the delectable dishes you see in our magazines? In honour of our second House and Leisure Food issue, we put these very individuals under the spotlight. One of the talented chefs who contributed to this issue is Malika van Reneen, who is Executive Chef at the Signal Restaurant at The Cape Grace Hotel. We found out her foodie forecast for the year ahead, her signature dish for summer and more… What food trends do you think will be big in 2012? With there having been a greater awareness of the importance of sustainability in recent years, I’m sure 2012 will see even more mindfulness of overall wellbeing, for example, knowing where your food comes from, how it’s produced, who’s producing it, what it contains and what it does for you. With that said, chefs growing their own produce, creating little gardens wherever possible and foraging for their food, rates high on the list of must-do feel-good factors. Dietary preferences like gluten free, vegan or raw diets are constantly on the increase and these have seen the development of some great products, which I think will be even more widely spread in 2012 with more accessibility and variety. Best part of working on the 2012 HL Food issue? Time to reflect and reminisce about the fabulous food encounters I’ve experienced. Which fellow local chefs do you admire? Everyone in my kitchen and a list too long to mention of great chefs doing lots of special things, from their creativity to their commitment, in developing the up-and-coming young chefs. Favourite food blog? ‘Another Damned Food Blog’ is one I find very entertaining and very well written, however this does not necessarily mean that I agree with the views expressed. And cook book? I LOVE all Thomas Keller’s books, The French Laundry and Under Pressure being my favourites. His precision and passion are clearly prominent by just paging through these books. Favourite local food market? The Neighbourhood Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town. The one dish that you think screams ‘summer’? Fish on the braai. If you weren’t a chef, you’d be…? Thin, tanned and hungry. Best childhood food memory? 1. Eating the most gorgeous mangoes – I needed to hold them with both hands and had the juice running down my arms… I can taste them right now! 2. The smell of cinnamon cooking while my granny made me Jungle Oats. For more information about the Signal Restaurant and Malika’s extraordinary foodie creations, visit the restaurant’s official website here. Look out for Malika’s tasty dishes in our 2012 Food issue, on sale now! Image of Springbok, Purple Fig and Pine Nut Pizza: Jac de Villiers *Please note: The featured pizza recipe is not served at The Signal Restaurant and was only created for our Food issue.