J’Something and David Higgs to host SA’s virtual cook-along Guiness World Record attempt

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Johannesburg – Award-winning musician and food enthusiast J’Something is thrilled to be a part of history next week as South Africa attempts to break a Guinness World Record for the biggest virtual cook-along.

“We leave this earth with only memories and this will definitely be one I won’t easily forget,” the Mi Casa frontman, whose real name is Joao da Fonseca, told The Saturday Star this week.

The initiative, which also involves acclaimed South African chef David Higgs, the Reach for a Dream Foundation, Discovery Vitality, DHL and Woolworths, aims to have 3000 people participating in the cooking stream to break the current record of 532.

The virtual event will be hosted by the culinary duo Fonseca and Higgs at the Vitality HealthyFood Studio in Sandton next week Thursday, in full view of the Guinness World Records adjudicator who will ensure that all the stringent requirements are met.

The meal to be prepared is still a secret but all those involved say that it will be healthy, easy to cook because the ingredients have to be delivered to the participants who are part of the virtual cook-along and that the meal will feed four people.

Apart from the prestige of breaking the world record, Discovery Vitality CEO Dinesh Govender insists that the main aim of the virtual cook-along is to raise funds for children fighting life-threatening illnesses.

“We are hoping to raise over R500 000 for Reach For a Dream but beyond the great cause, we wanted to think of a creative way to get South Africans even more excited about participating,” he said.

“We know South Africans are very competitive people, so together we want to break the Guinness World Record for the most people cooking (a healthy meal) simultaneously online.”

These sentiments were echoed by Higgs who added that the objective of the digital cook-along is to primarily lend a helping hand to those in need.

“What the pandemic and lockdown have taught us is that you don’t know what’s going to happen next, and you have to create opportunities for people that really need it,” said Higgs.

Discovery CEO Dinesh Govender. Supplied image.

The cook-along was the brainchild of Fonseca and his team, and he explained that his manager came up with it and they then pitched it to Reach For a Dream.

“My friend J (Fonseca) approached me, it was his initiative and we’ve been friends for a long time – we love cooking and working together.

“I’ve also worked with Reach for a Dream for a while and it is nice to be able to do something like this which will benefit them hugely,” said Higgs.

Meanwhile, Fonseca explained that using cooking as a way to raise much needed money for youngsters battling life-threatening illnesses is because of his passion for all things food.

“A meal is a gift and something we tend to take for granted. I love food, cooking, shopping, and most importantly eating and it’s so vital also, what we put into our bodies and I am passionate about ensuring that my family and I eat well.”

For Higgs, food is also something very personal.

“Food has been a part of my life since day one and fishing was what we did for meals, and it has taught me a great understanding and respect for the product.

“Food has always been a part of my life and I am lucky to have found a career in it,” he said.

He added that South Africans also have a passion for food and that’s why he has no doubt that they will participate in the virtual cook-along.

“We all love to cook and through the lockdown, it was amazing to see how many people engaged with cooking.”

For the Discovery Vitality CEO, it was also important for the meal to be healthy because this is the centre of what they are about.

“Discovery’s core purpose is to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives and one of our key values is being a force for good,” Govender said.

The Saturday Star

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