Top picks: Heinstirred’s Hein van Tonder

Top picks: Heinstirred’s Hein van Tonder

From accountant to food blogger and photographer, Hein van Tonder just started – which would be his advice to any aspiring foodie who wants to try blogging. “Just start! Forget about what people think.” Hein went on a photography course and committed to doing one recipe a week. Today, he is a popular food and lifestyle photographer, and will be hosting a food photography workshop in collaboration with photographer Francois Pistorius and well known stylist Isabella Niehaus in May and June 2015.

What would your 10-year-old self say about the job you do right now?
“Who would have thought.”

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Hein van Tonder


What’s the absolute best thing and the absolute pits about your job?
“I get access to places I normally would not and get to play with and learn from some incredibly talented people. Worst is the huge mess that needs to be sorted after cooking and shooting!”


Hein at work.


What is a food aroma you love?
“Butter melting.”

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
“A garage pie at 4 in the morning.”

Is there is food trend that you wish would go away?
“Salted caramel.”

Spicy Salted Caramel Popcorn. Recipe: Samantha Linsell via Heinstirred


Favourite spot for lunch?

Where is your go-to place to shop for food or ingredients?
“Cape Town CBD street traders for fresh fruit and veg at fantastic prices.”

Favourite ingredient to cook with right now?
“I am on a Middle Eastern discovery at the moment, so lots of vegetables, sumac, dukkah and z’atar.”

Favourite food or wine hero?
“Kamal Mouzawak in Lebanon. The reconciliation and empowerment work he does through food at Souk el Tayeb and Tawlet is so inspiring. I had the pleasure of meeting him and spending time with him in Beirut last year. Not just him but the women in all the programmes are my heroes.”


Kamal Mouzawak. Photo: We-heart


If you were a flavour of ice cream, you would be… (and why?)
Dark Chocolate. A bit moody, never too sweet but so worth it.

If you had R1000 to spend, where would you go or what would you cook? (and drink)
“Only a R1000?! The roast chicken at the Nomad Hotel in New York City (if I was in NYC) otherwise Margot Janse’s The Tasting Room at LQF.”


Photo: Nomad Hotel

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life it would be? Ice Cream
“Your last supper would be (don’t forget the drinks!) Mac and cheese like my mother makes, ice cream, foie gras (sorry), a good curry, did I say ice cream?, sour dough bread topped with real bacon. And local bubbly and champagne. Lots of it.”

See more of Hein’s work and recipes at