My students exams means I get to semi catch up with local chefs that I respect hugely because with all the kitchen assessing I am doing I need tasting judges to professionally and fairly judge my students plates. Everything gets judged blind, as in no judge knows whose food is whose.
I strongly advocate that aspiring chefs enrol for our work-experience programme. This helps them to make an educated decision about joining the exciting, but demanding, culinary industry. Julia Whitby, a Grade 11 pupil, recently took up our offer. She now has an idea of the behind-the-scenes work and was thrilled with all she learned. Her words succinctly convey her feelings:
It was an honour to have been asked to submit recipes for The Great South African Cook Book (Quivertree Publications) that showcases 67 chefs, cooks and bakers who contribute to our country’s diverse and creative culinary industry.
Georg Lens’ mother, Cindy, was responsible for all the sign writing at the school. I suggest you commission her/WALLCANDY for any wallpaper, painting and design requirements you may have. Georg too came to the school’s first open day but I believe his idea of becoming a chef was cemented after he attended a Teens Cooking Class.
Costas Christodoulou signed up a week before we opened this year. We often laugh about how busy he kept me those last few days before school started. Costas had considered doing a culinary course when he finished school, a few years ago. He, however, completed a Bachelor of Business Administration and Advanced Certificate in Professional Photography courses before committing himself to becoming a chef.
Cheri Kustner was the first student that I accepted for this year’s intake. I remember her coming to the school’s first open day, when the last group of students were still here and I knew from that moment that she was going to excel - her enthusiasm was tangible.
I have been astonished – and thrilled - by the number of chefs and restaurateurs who have recommended Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine to potential students. It’s heartwarming to know the recognition we are receiving. Up next is Trizanne Kodi, sent by Ryan Ringo a good friend of the hospitality industry.
Brynn Enslin attended our first Teens Cooking Class early last year. The next one is on July 1 and 2, 2017. It will showcase winter food - think rich and melt-in-your-mouth oxtail in risotto. Brynn left the course seeming very enthusiastic and keen to enroll for the 18-month programme. I didn’t push him and he contacted me late last year. I admit to wondering why he’d taken so long!
Soon after our first intake of students graduated, I met Pinetown resident, Andiswa Mqedlana. She told me her introduction to the school was through a career expo at Kearsney College, back in 2014. The following year she was successful in her interview for the 2017 18-month course.
Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine has been selected as one of three South African cookery institutions to which an aspiring chef could win a 2018 Woolworths TASTE & Eat Out Culinary Bursary. Entries close on July 31, 2017.
Jordin Shelly, of Hillcrest, was a learner at Epworth School and, during 2016, we kept ‘bumping into’ one another. It was as though Life knew she was coming to Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine before she knew.
With no immediate plan, apart from having “fun with my son, Thomas and contemplating the contents of my next adventures”, executive chef Margot Janse, Africa’s only female Grand Chef and the genius behind The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, has resigned after 21 years.
Arnie Muller, of Orkney in North West Province, contacted me two years ago, after the school’s first media release was published, and it was my good friend and perfect gentleman Reuben Riffle who recommended he enroll. Arnie is sharing his family’s Sheba Sauce recipe which is a delicious tomato-based relish. It has been a favourite for as long as he can remember, and can be served with meat or eggs or even as a tantalising spread on a sandwich.
Adding a new dimension to the expanding culinary offering in the KZN Midlands, Jackie Cameron’s School of Food and Wine - which obtained its restaurant license last year - is opening a “school outlet” that will function similar to a restaurant.