Top picks: The Diletto food heroes

Top picks: The Diletto food heroes

In the food industry, diletto’s Martin Lompa and Francis Richter certainly have some of the dreamiest jobs around. Imagine scouring South Africa for the pick of the most delectable best deli products around, tasting mouthwatering things all day and bringing that to the masses? This week, we hear from these two fine foods aficionados.

Left: Martin Lompa. Right: Francis Richter

Left: Martin Lompa. Right: Francis Richter

Martin Lompa and Francis Richter from diletto – which means ‘delight’ in Italian – initially started their business as an online retail deli. When it wasn’t as profitable as they had hoped, they turned their focus to the distribution of niche food brands to independent retail outlets, which they now specialise in. Three and a bit years on, it has turned into a booming business distributing over 20 fantastic up-and-coming brands such as Eric Todd’s and Black Mamba sauces, Cape Kingdom Buchulife Buchu Waters, Barrett’s Ridge Artisan Beer Bread, Beaver Creek Coffee and, of course, the full Pronto Mama range of sauces and condiments.

What would your 10-year-old self say about the job you do right now?

“Free food and people who work for you?! AWESOME”

What’s the absolute best thing about your job?
“We love meeting new people and tasting amazing new products that are made with passion.”


What is a food aroma you love?
“A braaied steak … or a good cup coffee.”

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
“My father-in-law’s tripe.”

Is there is food trend that you wish would go away?
“Banting! No cheese? No thanks!”

Favourite spot for lunch?
“Constantia Glen – amazing cheese and charcuterie platters.”

Constantia Glen platter. Photo: Desiree Haakonsen for Travelground

Constantia Glen platter. Photo: Desiree Haakonsen for Travelground

Favourite food or wine hero?
“Heston Blumenthal keeps things interesting!”

Heston Blumenthal. Photo:  Sydneyland

Heston Blumenthal. Photo: Sydneyland

Where is your go-to place to shop for food or ingredients?
“My wife and I aren’t keen on mass-produced products, so we shop a lot at markets and small shops.”

Favourite ingredient to cook with right now?
Pronto Mama Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes in Spicy Vinaigrette.”



If you were a flavour of ice cream, you would be… (and why?)
“Something with dark chocolate and chilli would be delicious.”

If you had R1000 to spend, where would you go or what would you eat & drink? 
“I would spoil my wife to dinner at the Planet Restaurant – we got married at the Mount Nelson, so it’s a very special place for us and we love the food and drinks they serve.”

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life it would be?
“Good cheese.”

Your last supper would be (don’t forget the drinks!)
“Great cheese, amazing charcuterie, fresh bread, savoury preserves, good olive oil and a good Syrah.”

If you are interested in ordering top deli products from diletto, download their pricelists here. This is also where you can buy Pronto Mama deliciousness in bulk.