Queen of Cape Malay cooking Fatima Sydow dies after cancer battle

Food lovers are mourning the loss of beloved chef and cookbook author Fatima Sydow. Picture: Bertram Malgas / Independent Newspapers

Food lovers are mourning the loss of cookbook author and TV show host Fatima Sydow, 50, who died on Tuesday after battling cancer.

According to a statement released by the family, she died peacefully at Vincent Pallotti hospital surrounded by her immediate family.

“Inspired by her mother’s ability to perform culinary miracles with few ingredients, creating dishes that generously fed many hungry stomachs, Fatima found the spark that would ignite her own culinary journey,” the family statement read.

In 2015, she published her first book, The Journey of Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow.

Her second book, Cape, Curry, and Koesister, published in 2019, was a collection of Cape Malay recipes contributed by both Fatima and her twin sister, Gadija Sydow.

In 2021, Fatima Sydow Cooks lent a modern twist to Cape Malay recipes.

In 2020, during Covid, she took to YouTube to share her culinary expertise.

She also co-hosted the TV show, Kaap, Kerrie, and Koesisters, on ViaTV, with Gadija.

In her final book, Fatima Sydow Cape Malay Cooking – My Story, My Heritage, published in April this year, she noted that she wished to leave a legacy of love, unity and connection through the experience of food.

Beyond her television success and cookbooks, Ms Sydow introduced a spice and Cape Malay savouries range and aspired to share her Cape Malay culture with others, the family said.

Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Anroux Marais expressed her condolences to Ms Sydow’s family and friends.

“Her recipes were often short and simple enough for anyone to attempt. Yet the end product, often with Cape Malay flair, would always be so spectacular,” she said.