Thandolwethu Ngwadla – known as Thando Thyme – is a young student from Johannesburg whose passion is food, food…and more food.
From chicken prego rolls and savoury puff pastry bites to umleqwa (hard-body chicken) and grilled salmon, Thando is a versatile foodie who constantly surprises her followers with her easy-to-follow recipes.
Thando Thyme beyond the food
Thando has a BSc degree from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and is at Rhodes University in Makhanda completing her BSc honours in biotechnology.
She is both a dedicated student and Foodstagrammer, so finding balance is important.
“It requires a bit of discipline and I don’t always get it right,” Thando says.
“I really try to work on a schedule as much as possible. Most of my downtime, I use to cook. During the week I plan what I’d like to make over the weekend.
“I normally pick up the ingredients on Friday afternoon then spend the whole of Saturday and Sunday creating content for the week ahead.
“That system works quite well for me in that my working week [Monday to Friday] is completely open to my academic obligations.”
Her decision to become a Foodstagrammer wasn’t difficult. In December 2019, she posted a lamb shoulder roast she had made on her personal Instagram profile. Friends sent messages asking how she made the roast.
She took a leap of faith and now — through her dedicated food profile — she shows her love for the culinary arts.
Thando Thyme’s inspirations
As a young child, Thando preferred watching food channels, such as BBC Food and The Food Network. That was the groundwork for becoming familiar with different foods and methods of cooking.
In her spare time — if she wasn’t flipping through recipe books — she would just sit and watch her mother cook.
Thando says she draws inspiration from South African chefs, such as Zola Nene, Lorna Maseko and Siba Mtongana.
Mtongana’s food journey is “massively inspirational” to her and to young black women everywhere, she says.
Other Foodstagrammersshe looks up to, are Neo Nontso, who is behind @dinewithneo, and Luyanda Mafanya of @cookingwithluyanda.
Developing her recipes
As Thando has become more experienced in the kitchen, she has learnt which flavours work well together and which don’t.
As she develops her recipes, she uses online sources to get a rounded feel for them.
“If I want to cook something I’ve never done before, I usually grab a couple of sources like a few recipes online or a YouTube video and so on.
“That’s just to get a basic idea of how it’s done, and then I start thinking of the approach I will take when making it.”
To find all of Thando Thyme’s recipes, visit her on Instagram @thandothyme