Exploring culture and heritage through the lens of food and cuisine

We are pleased to introduce you Vinasha and Kurvin, a Mauritian couple living in Cape Town, South Africa. Passionate about good food, sweet treats and photography, they became recipe developers and food stylists complementary to their initial careers. Their Mauritian heritage is heavily reflected in their food and cuisine. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

KITnDO: What is your cultural background?

Vinasha: We are both originally from Mauritius, where we were born and raised.  We met ten years ago and have been married for the past five years. 

KITnDO: Where do you live and what was your main motivation for moving here?

Vinasha: We currently live in Cape Town, South Africa. We both independently moved to Cape Town for our tertiary studies, which is when we met.  We have stayed in Cape Town for our careers and for the beauty of the place.

KITnDO: Can you tell us more about your activities?

Vinasha: Kurvin is an architect and I am a researcher in molecular biology. As cooking and baking enthusiasts, we started an Instagram page ever_peckish in 2017 as a hobby.  This sparked a passion for food styling and photography, which also lead to us launching our blog in 2020.  We have not only enjoyed developing the techniques and skills in food photography, but also exploring our culture and heritage through the lens of food and cuisine. During the pandemic, we have also started a small baking business where we sell a variety of baked goods, including the popular Mauritian shortbread “Napolitaine”.

KITnDO: What do you miss the most from Mauritius?

Vinasha: Our families and friends are who we miss most. Naturally, we also miss the family social events: birthdays, weddings parties. Mauritius is a melting pot of cultures; the ambience around cultural festivities and the glorious New Year celebrations makes us very nostalgic. We also miss the vibrant Mauritian food scene, especially the street food culture. Last, but certainly not least, we long to be at the sandy beachfronts overlooking the turquoise lagoon of the island. With the pandemic, we have not been able to travel back home in a while; we hope we can visit soon.

KITnDO: Are you in touch with any Mauritian community or expats?

Vinasha: We are not a part of a specific expat community.  However, we have some close Mauritian friends in South Africa. We have also befriended other Mauritian expats spread around the world through Instagram with whom we share our passion for Mauritian food. 

KITnDO: How do you keep in touch with your country of origin?

Vinasha: We stay in touch with our country mainly through the re-creation of dishes and traditions of Mauritius. Every year we celebrate Diwali the way we used to in Mauritius; by baking up a storm of Indian sweets, sharing them with friends and lighting the traditional Diwali light. We also read the Mauritian news and are kept up to date with local events by our family and friends. Watching French and Bollywood movies also makes us feel connected to our roots.

KITnDO: Did you discover some places related to your Mauritian culture in Cape Town such as restaurants, stores, bookstores, etc.?

Vinasha: Unfortunately, we are not aware of restaurants or stores which trade in Mauritian food or other products. However, we have recently come across a small deli which sells Mazavaroo, a hot but delicious lemony Mauritius chilli paste. It made our day!

KITnDO: What new tradition or recipe from the South Africa would you take with you if you move somewhere else?

Vinasha: We have been in Cape Town for so long that we feel part Capetonian. We have embraced the braai and wine culture. We have also learned to make a variety of South African dishes. Milk tart or melktart to be more precise is one of our favorite desserts and is featured on our blog.  Cricket has also grown on us and we are big fans of the Proteas, the National cricket team.

We hope that seeing these stunning pictures will inspire you as much as it inspired us! Vinasha and Kurvin show a great way how to revisit traditional recipes and to enhance the dishes and sweets remembered from our childhoods!

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