Food plays a fundamental part in all of our lives. We use it to celebrate, to gather as family and friends, in essence, we use food to connect. If food can do this for individuals, I could only imagine what it did for Johannesburg’s culture. And this is where my food Instagram began.
I have always had a love for exploring food spots and for many months the idea of a food Instagram sat idly in the back of my mind. After many more restaurant visits, this idle thought materialised into Adventures of A College Foodie. Initially, I thought this Instagram would merely be an organisation and review of Jozi’s restaurants.
However, it has turned into so much more than that. Through this account, I have been able to explore not only Jozi’s food culture but Jozi itself. I’ve grown up in this city my entire life and naively thought that I truly knew it, this experience has shown me just how wrong I was.
Through this journey, I have learnt that our city is incredibly multi-faceted and each area possesses its own charming characteristics and people. Melville is filled with artsy hipsters and aesthetic coffee shops. Linden is regarded as the food-haven of Johannesburg, and each restaurant is constantly buzzing with foodies. Braam is filled with busy students. I really could go on …
Yet, despite these differences, the unique charm of each area comes together to create Jozi’s culture. Jozi is upbeat, constantly rushing, fashion-forward, and possesses so much heart. This heart is perhaps the most evident in the cafes and restaurants that make up Jozi. My most notable memory of this is when I visited the Moral Kiosk in Melville. Each coffee cup is accompanied by a hand-drawn illustration and the spot’s love for Jozi is seen through the artwork and loud, pumping music of South African artists.
This is but one example of many food spots in our city that continue to pour their hearts into what they do. Thus, further strengthening the vibrant culture that one associates with Jozi.
Most food articles tend to disregard the food of Johannesburg while highlighting the food of other areas of the country, most notably Cape Town. I want to use my Instagram to challenge this notion. I would argue that not only do we have amazing restaurants, but we have restaurants that rival their international counterparts. For example, Saint (The Marc in Sandton), created by David Higgs and Gary Kyriacou, matches any international Italian eatery with its ever-changing ceilings, home-made pasta, and elaborate cocktails. Then there is Thirdspace (Fourways), a co-working ‘community’ that focuses on direct trade coffee and has been named one of the best coffee experiences in South Africa.
This Instagram journey has been an enriching experience and has added to my knowledge of food, people, and Johannesburg. While the journey has not been long and I have yet to explore all of Jozi, I look forward to delving into the rich culture of all areas of our fantastic city. After all, Jozi’s restaurants represent far more than just food, they represent Jozi’s culture.
– Carpe Cappuccino
Jemma Williams is a Wits University student balancing psychology, philosophy, and pastry. Fuelled by caffeine and a love for all things foodie.