CAPE MALAY HOUSE: THE HOME OF FLAVOUR!
Cape Malay House is one of the latest projects by Cape Town’s local chef, Ammaarah Peterson. I sat down with the CEO and Founder to find out more about the new project and the foods you can expect from the stall at the V&A Waterfront.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Food has always been a passion for Ammaarah and when she was 17 years old, she started her own catering company. She enjoyed working with just events and ended up being the first company to execute halaal private chef services. She also went on to be the winner of the Women of Wonder award twice.
When the lockdown happened in March 2020, Ammaarah was trying to figure out how she was going to keep her business afloat. She knew she needed to plan for at least a year in advance, but this was tough as they needed people to hire them. Therefore her 1-year goal to sustain herself and her business came into motion. She gathered all her legal documents and started selling hand sanitizers and gloves. This was how she planned to keep her business alive.
Doing this, gave her a flashback to how she was as a child, a little girl who was always selling sweets and chocolates to her friends and other children at school. She was reminded of this seller's mentality that she always had. After a month of hard lockdown, Ammaarah had made enough money to sustain herself for a whole year! About a week after that, one of her workers called her and confided in her, letting her know they had no food in their house. Naturally, Ammaarah felt she needed to do something to help her people. She then got some groceries together and dropped them off at his house. A few days later another one of her workers called, and then another and so it went on for about the next week.
This is when she decided to open a communal kitchen in Athlone, where everyone could cook food for their families and eventually even train some of the people to cook.
WHY IT ALL STARTED
As said before, people were coming to the communal kitchen to be trained to cook and to feed their families and this brought Ammaarah closer to the people and community. A few days before Eid she decided to cook 10 000 meals for the community. With just a few days to plan, buy and cook everything, she had no idea how she was going to do it but chef Ammaarah pulled it off with great success! A week after, the Waterfront’s General Manager called Ammaarah, told her they loved what she had done and offered her a stall. This was a massive turning point for her as she had never imagined being tied down to a restaurant and working the long hours 7 days a week. However, her partner insisted they take it, as this was the opportunity of a lifetime!
Because Ammaarah didn’t want to be tied to one restaurant, she decided to take the 21 individuals that she had just trained and give them the opportunity to work in the kitchens. And so Cape Malay House was born.
“Cape Malay House is about people sitting around the table, making space for others and eating together. Living, talking and learning from each other,” Ammaaarah says. She’s opening the space and table for students to learn and that is what Cape Malay House is, her student kitchen, showcasing their talents.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM CAPE MALAY
Everything Cape Malay! Expect amazing aromas and flavours, samosas, butter chicken, chili bites, even a bit of French inspiration! The menu is made up by Ammaarah as well as her interns and includes everything that will make you feel like you’re eating from home.
The next time you're at the V&A Waterfront, make sure to visit The Cape Malay House for a taste of Cape Malay food you will never forget. If you’d like to see them on a virtual tour, contact our Concierge Gurus to arrange a customized virtual tour for you to enjoy from your own home, or you could book your free concierge session with WaderfullySo and start traveling virtually without leaving your couch!