What inspired you to enroll at the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine?
We all know food is an essential source of nutrient. In my family it was thought about around the clock as it nourished our bodies, minds and souls. At the breakfast table we would already be planning our next meal.
I have eaten more often in restaurants than I have at home because the love my brother, my mother and I have for food is forever growing.
I have had the privilege of enjoying meals at some of the top restaurants in our country, as well as around the world. And in following Eat Out magazine, I read about Jackie Cameron when Hartford House was rated number five in South Africa’s Top 10 Restaurant list. She was the number one female chef in South Africa in 2013!
When I was researching different culinary experiences, as well as schools, I could hardly believe my eyes when my mum showed me that one of our top chefs in South Africa was opening her own school. I was completely inspired by how far she had come and I was motivated by everything she had done – not a dream come true but a dream that felt too surreal to ever be true.
I read up all about Jackie - her story and her outlook on food; and I fell in love with her love for local produce. Here in our beautiful country we have suppliers just as good as - and even better than - any other. Growing up in South Africa I have always yearned to give back to my country by helping grow industries such as the culinary business, and show off the incredible gems my country holds. This industry is one that will never die. It will always allow for possibilities to travel, see the world, experience and develop the understanding as well as the care I have for food and for people; and to do something I love every day for the rest of my life.
The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is beautiful and is the perfect place for me to really knuckle down and focus on what I need to do in terms of working hard without many distractions.
As the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine was a new school, not many students were being offered a place so it was a challenge to be accepted and to be given the opportunity of such personal one-on-one, chef-to-student learning and teaching.
To learn under such talented hands was seen as a massive honour as well as the door to immense opportunities.
What are you hoping to achieve here?
Everybody needs to eat and I want to be the person to give them that warm fuzzy feeling, to bring people together to share memories, to carry on with traditions and to help others’ happiness grow.
At the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine I wish to build my understanding of food, to create and play with new ideas and flavours; experience different techniques and institutions; connect with incredible chefs and individuals as I learn from their experiences as well as their understanding and knowledge of food; to grow in the food industry; to be inspired; and as one of Jackie’s first students I’ll be part of history.
What do you hope to give of yourself?
I hope to work as hard and as focused as I possibly can and really give it my all. Cooking, eating and food is where my heart lies and to be given an opportunity such as this… the stars are in my reach I just need to grab them.
What is your long-term goal?
My brother, Kurt, and I are extremely close and sharing such an immense passion and love for food it would be a mutual dream of ours to open our own restaurant – hopefully making it into the Eat Out Top 10!
In my mind I can see it now being a bistro type restaurant, called Hamish And Bella’s (after our two babies i.e. Scottish Terriers) with delicious hearty meals. Situated in the heart of Cape Town, we will incorporate our South African, Austrian and Scottish heritage into the food.
In how many years do you hope to achieve this?
I would like to travel and experience/work in various different restaurants all over the world and make a name for myself first. Hopefully in five to eight years we will have achieved this goal and will be running Hamish And Bella’s!
Who is your favourite international ‘foodie’?
It may come across as an absolute cliché, but how can you not love good old Jamie Oliver? As per the Oxford Dictionary, the word ‘eat’ is defined as: to put food in your mouth, chew it and swallow it. This is most probably one of the most disappointing and unsatisfactory definitions in the entire word list. However, Jamie Oliver brings this word to life. He shows people everything beautiful and magical behind how fantastic it is to eat good food. To sense the smoothness of a lavender-infused panna cotta tickle the tip of your tongue; to experience the crunchiness of a pork crackling grind against your teeth; to undergo the same sensation as having a warm wooden fire burn away inside you - that ‘warm, fuzzy’ feeling you find when indulging in a piping hot roasted pepper soup. He has brought the world to see food in a completely different light, changing the way we eat for the better. Not certain if it’s the fact that his was the first chef book I received for Christmas, the countless hours I have spent watching his TV shows, or if it’s the way I have never seen anybody in the world as passionate about cooking as Jamie Oliver; but all I know is whether he is talking about a simple root or a tricky roast – he will always be my absolute favourite.
If food had a personality, what dish would be most like you – and why?
Tricky one to answer to be honest... If my personality were to be a dish… I sure hope it would be delicious… to make people feel good and happy! Like chocolate, everybody loves chocolate!
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in the vibrant City of Gold - Johannesburg.
Apart from food what hobbies do you enjoy?
Besides food, I absolutely love theatrical drama; photography; giving back; meeting people and playing netball.
What dish do find least inspiring – and why?
In one way or another every dish is inspiring! Oh, except maki’ sushi. It has absolutely no thought or love going into it.