Get to know Fehmz

December 26, 2023 (Last Updated: December 18, 2023)
Fehmz

Fehmz and her brand are all about keeping it real. Over the years, she has built a unique space that encompasses all kinds of good food and lifestyle. Her journey is one of authenticity, reflecting the true essence of who she is (she is all kinds of fun, funny, and a true food genius). We sat down with her to learn more about her and her brand.

Hello Fehmz! Please tell us about yourself.
I wish I had a good way of explaining this but I am just your average Muslim woman, a wife, a mom of two, an entrepreneur who runs two businesses, and someone who loves to share and connect with people online through my food, my experiences and lifestyle. I am originally from Lenasia in the south of Johannesburg and I think like most young girls who come from a semi-traditional culture, we almost start cooking before we realise it. My mum had this formula to things and I only now realise how clever it was! We would have to set and clear the table when we were younger, then we upgraded to being the person in charge of making salads and helping her, then she would leave a recipe for me in the morning, head out for the day with my dad and leave me to my devices to figure out how to make it. The kitchen table is where we congregated – over a meal we would laugh, cry, make plans, get the latest news, and probably most of all, enjoy the meal, critique it, savour the flavours…

Who is Fehmz outside of the kitchen?
I think slowly people are seeing that there is an ‘adrenaline junkie’ side of me that peeps through on social media. I’m the type of person who loves to be spontaneous – I’m up for new adventures.
I will try (almost) anything once. I love speed, I used to go to the drag races and gymkhanas when I was younger. I was a bit of a tomboy who hung out with the guys. Try as I might, I just couldn’t be a girlie girl. I was also the girl who really struggled with self-confidence and body image, so part of me now is embracing who I am – accepting and loving myself and most of all believing in myself more.

Fehmz

What is your earliest food memory?

My late granny’s house… She lived in Pietermaritzburg so it was the destination for every holiday, and as a young kid I remember that we would always arrive late at night, be carried up the two flights of stairs and laid into bed. When the morning came, we would hear the pots and pans and the laughter. The smell of joy and good food wafting through the air was the best alarm clock ever. And when you get to the table, the menu is always granny’s piaaj beda, which is onion eggs as well as mince curry and fresh, hot roti. Those eggs were my favourite and every time I make it, I think of her. Food was her love language

You have so many people who love your content and recipes! How do you feel knowing you’re such an inspiration to others?

Honestly, it’s surreal. I don’t think I have quite digested it because I think a small part of me feels undeserving, but at the same time it’s the people who actually inspire me; they give me the courage to keep doing what I do. When I meet someone, I always feel a bit taken aback wondering how they know me, but it’s the biggest compliment and the most heartfelt warmth when I chat with them and they say they used a recipe of mine or learnt something from my page and they follow me. I am super grateful to the community that follows me – they make it all worthwhile!

Where do you get your inspiration for recipes from?

Everywhere. I am inspired by everything. Firstly from family, my mum, aunts, siblings and cousins who try things out and share. I love to travel and taste new things, find what I love and even what
I don’t, then I see how I can adapt things to my own taste. Sometimes it’s just an idea, sometimes it’s a show I watch, like in Spanglish, that sandwich. One thing that’s a constant though, I like to make things that are easy and simple. And mostly I love recipes that mostly use ingredients from your pantry.

fehmz

What is your favourite dish to make?

It’s super hard to choose a favourite, so let’s go this way:

Breakfast: I love onion eggs or tomato eggs.

Lunch/Snack: Aloo fry sandwich (or Haji Ali sandwich) or mutton Akni.

Dinner: Pollo al limone chicken with mashed potatoes.

Tea time: Custard biscuits or jam and coconut sponge cake.

Is there a dish or ingredient that you dislike?

I struggle with Biscoff- and pistachio-flavoured things. I love eating pistachios as is, but I can’t do the pastes and mousse and ice creams etc. Sorry!

What is an ingredient that you can’t live without?

Condensed milk. [Haha!]

If you could invite three people over for dinner, who would it be?

Nobody, because I’m a mum. All I want is peace and to drink my tea while it’s hot. Haha! But on a different note, I would say the late Anthony Bourdain, Oprah and the CEO of Netflix or BBC Lifestyle so I can convince them to give me my own show. [LOL].

ALSO SEE: Karen Dudley: A peek inside her kitchen

Karen Dudley: A peek inside her kitchen

Text: Published in Food&Home Spring 2024

Feature image: Supplied

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