The Heat is On with Chef Lentswe Bhengu and Philip Moris South Africa

The Heat is On with Chef Lentswe Bhengu and Philip Moris South Africa
IQOS heats rather than burns tobacco

Chef Lentswe Bhengu joined Philip Morris South Africa in an experimental virtual cooking masterclass to demonstrate the importance of heating versus burning.

The aim of the virtual experience was to showcase the use of different temperatures on ingredients and the impact that this has on food.

Rishaad Hajee, Head of Corporate Communications at Philip Morris South Africa then introduced IQOS, the leading heated tobacco product in the world, aimed at switching people who would otherwise continue smoking to better alternatives.

“We developed this experience with Lentswe to showcase the science behind our smoke-free products and HeatControl technology by using cooking as a method to show the difference between ingredients that are heated versus burned,” said Hajee. “Unlike cigarettes, IQOS heats rather than burns tobacco.”

“During the cooking master-class I used different cooking methods which change the flavour profiles of certain ingredients by cooking at different temperatures while esting the effect heating had on the dish prepared,” added Chef Lentswe Bhengu. “I specifically chose a roasted red pepper soup dish to demonstrate this because the flavour profile of the red pepper and tomatoes changes drastically depending on the temperature the ingredient is prepared at.”

“Heated tobacco brings together the world of technology and tobacco,” Hajee explained. “IQOS features an electronic holder that heats tobacco to a temperature of up to 350°C, without burning it and therefore it generates no smoke but rather an aerosol and emits on average 95% less harmful chemicals compared to a standard cigarette. This does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk.”

What this means, Hajee explained further, is that the levels of harmful chemicals in the nicotine-containing aerosol are significantly reduced compared to conventional cigarette smoke while providing the same nicotine delivery and ritual characteristics of conventional cigarettes.

“Many people assume that it’s the nicotine that makes cigarette smoking harmful. In fact, it is the harmful chemicals in the smoke which are the primary causes or potential causes of smoking-related diseases,” he added. “While IQOS is not risk-free and contains nicotine which is addictive, the data has shown that switching completely to IQOS represents less risk to your health than continuing to smoke.”

“While not starting or quitting is the best option, millions of smokers continue to smoke,” he said. “With over 1 billion smokers in the world today and 11 million in South Africa – science can help smokers switch to better alternatives.”

The masterclass was hosted by Lentswe Bhengu from the Why Cook Studio in Sandton. The experience had attendees cooking from their homes with their meal kit style boxes which had been delivered to them.

“I really enjoyed bringing together the use of different temperatures into a ‘real-world’ demonstration of the impact that this has on food,” Bhengu concluded.


Chef Lentswe Bhengu
Chef Lentswe Bhengu

Bhengu is most famously known for his BBC series ‘Africa on a Plate’ which incorporates cooking with travel and culture. Born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Bhengu studied for a B. Com and worked at top finance companies. But, at age 25, he decided to hang up his investment tie and become a chef.

He now lives in Jozi and works out of his studio in Braamfontein. He is well known for his quick easy meals that incorporate many uniquely South African flavours. He is a charismatic personality on camera and engages people from all walks of life.

Lentswe Bhengu’s Roasted Red Pepper Soup Recipe:

Ingredients Method
·     8 ½  cups warm chicken stock (2 Litres)

·     6 Plum Tomatoes quartered

·     2 Red Onions quartered

·     4 Red Peppers quartered

·     1 Leek roughly chopped

·     1 Stalk of Celery roughly chopped

·     4 Cloves of Garlic

·     2 Sprigs of Thyme rinsed

·     Coriander / Parsley rinsed and picked


To serve a small French loaf

·     Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

·     On a roasting tray, place your quartered tomatoes, red onions and peppers with a sprig of thyme and 2 cloves of garlic, drizzle with 6 tablespoons of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Place the roasting tray into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until caramelised.

·     Place a large pot on the stovetop, sauté the celery with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the leeks and spring onion with the remaining garlic cloves and 1 sprig of thyme. Add salt & pepper to taste. Add the chicken stock, and reduce it by half.

·     Add the roasted ingredients to the pot and cook for a further 10 minutes, once cooked remove from heat.

·     Blend the ingredients, pass through a sieve and strain (if desired), Season to taste.

·     Garnish with chopped parsley or coriander.