Mile 8 comes alive

Chef comes goes to his roots

17 December 2018 | Art and Entertainment

Fishing with my family is something that I will never forget. David Higgs, chef

Yolanda Nel - With 30 years’ experience in the kitchen, this well-known MasterChef judge and chef in own right, decided to pen a cookbook in an effort to collect his memories and recipes, with Namibia playing an integral part.

Having grown up in Walvis Bay, David Higgs says he didn’t want to publish just another cookbook. “I really wanted to create something special,” he said in an interview with Windhoek Express. “I wanted something different to what is available on the shelves.”

He started with the concept of the book he called Mile 8, six years ago by collecting stories. However, the physical aspect of compiling the book, took six months. “During this time, I travelled to Namibia with my team,” he says.

For David, Mile 8 is a special marker as it is where he caught his first fish and where his food journey began.

This collection of recipes is about cooking, with something for everybody, portraying stories of David’s life and of Namibia, as well as stories from his kitchen in Johannesburg.

“This is my cooking journey, beginning in the small town of Walvis Bay, through the cowboy kitchens of Cape Town in the 90s, to the heart of South Africa’s lush winelands, and culminating at Marble in the heart of Johannesburg,” David says.

He admits that while writing the book, he realised again why he adores cooking.

What stands central though, are his fondest childhood memories – of growing up at the coast. “You have the dunes and the sea and open spaces. But fishing with my family is something that I will never forget,” he says.

While David has his hands full at the Johannesburg restaurant, he says there is always a reason to visit Namibia. “I am here about twice a year. This is where I get to spend time with my friends and to really switch off,” he says.

While he left Walvis Bay as a nine year old, for him the town remains the same. “The house I grew up in is still there, with the same windows, pretty much still how I remember it as a child.”

He admits that the development between Walvis and Swakopmund is new to him. “And the fact that Swakop has expanded to Mile 4 really is crazy!”