The Class of 2015 - Family Recipes

Jackie Cameron, Elaine Boshoff and the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine Class of 2015

 Jackie Cameron
Two months into their training and the students at Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine have basic theory principles behind them. In my opinion they need to be familiar with kitchen hygiene, fire emergency procedures, knife skills, first aid and costing values before taking that giant step into the kitchen.
— Jackie Cameron

Family meals come first on the cooking curriculum. These are meals that the students prepare for the team. We have a roster and each student, in turn, works from 06h00 until 08h00 on the meal of the day. These ‘family meals’ prepare the students for the intense cooking days that have yet to come. The course offered at the school is based on how today’s restaurants are run. Many hotels and restaurants offer basic, uninteresting staff meals and in my opinion and organisation’s team is its primary investment so should be treated accordingly. We’re in the business of food so we should be feeding those who work for us with good, wholesome meals and I like the idea of sitting around a table as we ‘break bread’ together. It’s an old-fashioned idea but it helps us get a deeper insight into one another and to value our colleagues – their beliefs and idiosyncrasies. I hope these basic principles will filter through to many other kitchens in the future.

As we try out popular family recipes and get to know one another better, a clear understanding of each student’s culinary background is being presented to me. In this ‘safe’ environment the students build confidence as they congratulate, motivate; and empower one other to do better. The training requires the students to continually challenge themselves by asking how they could have done better and this leads to their having to re-organise themselves as they become more efficient at what they’re doing. It is satisfying to note the extensive improvements that are taking place and to witness the students taking cognisance of the fact that they need to take responsibility for their own learning. This career, like most professions, requires continual growth and development. If you’re happy with what you know today you will never be at the top of your game. Research and an inquiring mind are essential ingredients for success.

In a recent exercise I placed an order with Robbie of Merrivale Butchery for the ‘best and freshest’. We received pork mince, tripe, trotters, bone marrow, biltong, tongue, chicken thighs and boerewors. The students then had to ‘shot gun’ what they wanted to cook. I was extremely impressed with the result.

My memory flashes back to my first working experience when, after an exhausting day-night shift I would go home and search through my recipes books to find the ‘perfect’ dish. I did this in order to cook an impressive meal for the following day’s hot buffet; one that would make an impression on my chef. Everything in this industry is about impressing.

I’m going to take this opportunity to highlight a few lunches that the students have prepared - and that we have all enjoyed.

Emily Schmidt

Emily Schmidt’s parents are the proud owners of Frankie’s. I will always remember being wowed by my first Frankie’s Ginger Beer experience. The use of traditional methods was clearly evident and the delicate ginger flavour, without the deep burn, was refreshing. The recipe Emily selected includes the use of ginger beer and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to prepare her Frankie’s Ginger-Beer Poached Gammon. I know that as you look at the photograph (taken by the school’s new photographer, Kate Martens) and read up the recipe, you’ll be asking yourself why you save gammon for Christmas. Get out and buy one today!  Serve it with Emily’s crisp-and-crunchy, green-bean-roasted-cashew-and-feta salad. Remember it’s not the same with anything but Frankie’s Ginger Beer.

Rai-Terre Dass

Rai-Terre Dass’ favourite, family recipe includes tripe with dhal, and her mother’s home-made roti. Now this makes me weak with excitement. The rule at my school is that everything has got to be tried - at least once. There is only one place that I will travel for tripe and that’s to the Food Barn in Noordhoek, in the Cape. There you’ll find the fabulous chef, Franck Dangereux. Franck’s recipe book: FEAST was one of the first South African cookbooks I bought and since then I have loved everything Franck has ever done. He is a truly inspiring chef. Rai’s tripe was left cooking for hours and the end result was remarkable - especially that the overall price was so affordable. Why do so few people value this dish? Homemade is best… I remember eating tripe, bought from a French deli. It was bottled and the experience was not pleasant at all. But that was many years back when I worked in a little bakery in Cucuron, an hour or so from Marseille.

Kate Cousins

From one plate of food, to one pot of food, and from five courses, to three courses - or only a dessert; anything is acceptable for the ‘family’ meal. Kate Cousin’s lemon-curd-drenched-vanilla-bean cake topped with an Italian-meringue creation is one of a kind. It’s what decadent dreams are made of. We all got through the rest of the afternoon on a complete sugar high! Who says lunch needs to be savoury?

Cara Conway

Somehow every chef seems to crave ribs and chips. This is Cara Conway’s mom’s speciality and the only way to describe Cara’s meal is flavoursome, succulent, yummy… seriously good!

Carla Schulze

Carla Schulze’s schweinebraten mit knödel and sauerkraut (Pork roll with dumplings and sauerkraut) conjures up memories of her late father and the traditional Austrian-style food that her family enjoyed. She prepared a pork shoulder roll with intense depth of flavour, crispy crackling, sauerkraut and bread roll dumplings. The bread roll dumplings were made from stale rolls. They were moist and full of flavour – and now, besides breadcrumbs, I have another use for old rolls. And the learners think it’s just they who are learning…

Emilys' Frankie’s Ginger-Beer Poached Gammon and Green bean Salad

Emily Schmidt’s parents are the proud owners of Frankie’s.  I will always remember being wowed by my first Frankie’s ginger beer experience. The use of traditional methods was clearly evident and the delicate ginger flavour, without the deep burn, was refreshing.

Kates' Lemon Meringue Cake

From one plate of food, to one pot of food, and from five courses, to three courses - or only a dessert; anything is acceptable for the ‘family’ meal.  Kate Cousin’s lemon-curd-drenched-vanilla-bean cake with an Italian-meringue is one of a kind. 

Rais' Tripe Curry with Dhal and Roti

Rai-Terre Dass’ favourite, family recipe includes tripe with dhal, and her mother’s home-made roti.  Now this makes me weak with excitement.  The rule at my school is that everything has got to be tried - at least once.  There is only one place that I will travel for tripe and that’s to the Food Barn in Noordhoek, in the Cape. There you’ll find the fabulous chef, Franck Dangereux.

Caras' Moms' Ribs and Chips

Somehow every chef seems to crave ribs and chips. This is Cara Conway’s mom’s speciality and the only way to describe Cara’s meal is flavoursome, succulent, yummy… seriously good!

Carlas' Schweinebraten mit Knodel and Sauerkarut

Carla Schulze’s schweinebraten mit knödel and sauerkraut (Pork roll with dumplings and sauerkraut) conjures up memories of her late father and the traditional Austrian-style food that her family enjoyed. 

 

It is heart warming to witness the pride with which each student showcases her ‘dish of the day’. Here’s to our next 16 months together - and I’m excited for their journey towards graduation in October 2016. Let’s keep our focus on a healthy diet and a healthy mind. A healthy mind equals happiness; happiness equals a happy chef; and, in turn, a happy guest – and so the circle keeps going round. Please take note of Kate Martens details below. She is our new photographer and I look forward to seeing where this journey takes us.

Find out more about my Women's Chef Range here - Men's Chef Range to come shortly; grab yourself a copy of Jackie Cameron Cooks At Home and all my foodie adventures. I always look forward to hearing from you via jackie@jackiecameron.co.za.

Jackie Cameron, owner of Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine situated in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal - email for inquiries. For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on Facebook. Find me on Twitter - @jackie_cameron and Instagram: jackiecameronincolour.
Food styling and recipe development, Elaine Boshoff.

All Photos taken by:
Kate Martens Photography
Contact details:
Cell Phone 0828798328 
Website:  www.katemartens.co.za 
Twitter: @kate_martens