Judge: Jonty Nicolson

 Jackie Cameron
Readers who follow the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine students’ progress will be interested to know that the first theory examination, marked by City&Guild in London, produced 19 distinctions and five merits. An impressive result, and I was thrilled.
— Jackie Cameron

I mentioned the following in my previous article so some readers will remember that examination time at the school means I get to catch up with local chefs because I call upon professionals in the culinary industry to judge the students’ objectively and impartially. They are contemporaries of mine, whose prowess I respect and whose integrity I honour. All judging is ‘blind’ - the adjudicators don’t see the students nor do they see behind-the-scene activities. Chef Thembalethu delivers the dishes from upstairs to the judges who remain downstairs, throughout. I consider this method to be as fair as one can get.

The second tasting judge is Jonty Nicolson who, in different chapters of my life, I have known for many years - from our youthful days in the Midlands and his successful term at Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse, to his tantalising dishes at Nicolson’s, a restaurant he owned in Garlington Estate, Hilton. Since then, Jonty and his wife, Tanya, have opened three cookhouse outlets in KwaZulu-Natal. You’ll find them in Howick, Hillcrest and Hilton.

I suggest you visit your closest store for truly-delicious, ready-made meals of unsurpassed quality - an excellent alternative for those with time constraints. I suggest you visit your closest store for truly-delicious, ready-made meals of unsurpassed quality - an excellent alternative for those with time constraints.

Many patrons have missed Jonty’s creative talent in a restaurant environment and I’m happy to share with you that he is back…

You’ll find him at the Country Market which is a café and delicatessen in Nottingham Road.  If you remember where Café Bloom use to be; well that is where he is now.  Breakfasts and lunches from locally-sourced ingredients are served from Wednesday to Sunday. Jonty has joined Anne Colle as a partner - and I have heard only rave reviews.

They are hoping that by the beginning of October, Brasserie, with a Belgian influence, will be open Friday to Sunday. Their own Belgian beer and imported Belgian gin will be served. Tempted? There are other exciting plans in the pipeline, so watch this space...

Jonty has shared one of his Country Market recipes. Try it out and then visit him on your next Meander adventure. I wish this innovative team a successful future and I celebrate the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, our suppliers and our chefs - quality cuisine will place us firmly on the South Africa’s culinary map.

Explore my website to find out more about my women's chef range - men's to come shortly; remember Baking with Jackie CameronJackie Cameron Cooks At Home and all my foodie adventures. I always look forward to hearing from you so send an email to: jackie@jackiecameron.co.za

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Photos taken by:
Jonty Nicolson and staff at Country Market