People

Food, family & fun

Food, family & fun

She’s a self-confessed foodie who isn’t afraid to smash a massive burger, on camera, with sauce running down her face! Former Mrs SA finalist and Simbithi mother of two Teneille Lee White’s latest project sees her working with Facebook’s ‘curator of eateries in South Africa’, Eat 101.

She’s the beautiful, bubbly blonde who has likely taken over your Facebook feed every now and then with her interactive, quirky food reviews. And believe it or not, Teneille is no different off camera.

Both she and her husband James work in the food industry and, together with their sons Tyler (5) and Joshua (3), they love exploring the North Coast foodie world.

Although she has a BA degree in sports communications, Teneille’s career changed direction after she competed in the Mrs South Africa beauty pageant. It was an experience, she says, that triggered her desire to focus on some of her core passions and values.

Now Teneille does the marketing, digital media and presenting for Eat 101 and I love Durban. “Eat 101 is the coolest visual curation of eateries in South Africa. The online TV series started around six months ago and the episodes are great for showcasing amazing eateries, delicious dishes and trending food. If you enjoy ‘car pool karaoke’, trying new food and finding out what’s trending, then these episodes are a must-watch,” says Teneille.

Teneille loves the filming process, which she says is always full of laughs. “We have an amazing crew and meet loads of incredible guests and restaurant-owners along the way. It’s not always easy being ‘ladylike’ on camera, especially when you’re trying to smash a massive burger in your mouth, but I am a real foodie, so it’s always fun even if the sauce is running down my face!”

Teneille’s love of food comes from her mom and grandmother who owned a restaurant and wedding function venue in Johannesburg. “We were always around food growing up. Then I met a man who loved food more than my family did…and it was a perfect match. James owns Café Flava, a premium catering, cafe and canteen solution, and now our family literally eats, sleeps and dreams about food. And that’s one of the things I love most about food – the fact that it really brings friends and family together.”

From coffee and cake with her girlfriends at Château Gâteaux, to festive lunches with friends and massive dinner parties at home, food is everything for the White family.

When it comes to her personal favourite North Coast foodie spots, Teneille says it is hard to choose only a few. “Oh wow, where do I start? The North Coast is so exciting at the moment with lots of new cool spots opening up. I could really name a list, as we love eating out! Château Gâteaux is definitely my ‘cake’ hang out and we spend a lot of time at La Piazza – the food is delish! Sandbar in Umdloti is great because, well, who doesn’t love sipping cocktails alongside the beach? Jack Salmon and Catch for amazing sushi, Nouriti Café at Movement X makes the most amazing smoothies and I’d say Chefs Table if you are in the mood for fine dining and an in-house wine sommelier. I also have to mention the poached eggs at the Fig Tree in Simbithi, where we live, yum!”

A WHITE CHRISTMAS

What does Christmas mean to you and your family?

Ah, this question really gets me choked up, because Christmas is about family and remembering family members who are not with us anymore. We are an extremely close family. I have a sister, Linzi, and a brother, Ryan, on my side and my husband has a sister, Jenna, and a brother, Marc, and Christmas is really about being together with our siblings and parents. My dad Derrick is probably the most excited this time of year, he’s getting soft in his old age.

How do you typically spend Christmas?
Around the biggest table we can find, eating loads of food, drinking too much wine, laughing until our tummies hurt, opening pressies with the kids and giving thanks for our blessings, good health and family. This year Christmas will be at our house in Simbithi.

What are you hoping for this Christmas?
Honestly, this year has been really busy so this Christmas I am hoping for good quality time with friends and family. P.S James, if Father Christmas is delivering anything, I am in need of some new perfume.

Any special traditions you have with your kids?
My mom actually started a tradition at the dinner table at every birthday, Christmas and family get-together. Before we eat, each person spends one minute saying what they are thankful for. This is so much fun and usually ends in tears, laughter and lots of special moments shared. Our family is growing at a rapid rate so this takes a bit of time, but is really special. My husband really enjoys a speech so we generally wait 10 minutes for him to stop talking!

Any special plans over the holidays?
We live in paradise and love spending time in Ballito in December. But we will also be visiting family in Johannesburg, including a quick trip to Mabula game reserve. We are planning a trip to Cape Town in January and then just seeing as much of our family and friends as possible!

Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photograph: Taryn van Rensburg, tarynvanrensburg.co.za | Hair and makeup: Juliet Martin, www.julietmartin.co.za | Stylist: Ty Gormley of I’m Styling, imstyling.co.za

 

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