- When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
My sister came home telling us how she enjoyed baking and cooking at school after which my dad suggested that I investigate this as a career choice. We did quite a bit of research and eventually decided on the Prue Leith Cookery School in Pretoria, which is where I did my training after school.
- Which three ingredients can’t you live without?
Firstly butter! When I was a child my dad was allergic to margarine and we grew up using only butter, and I still love it today. I absolutely love fresh Coriander – yes I know people love it or hate it – but I am a huge fan. And I can’t live without chillies either, so there you have it!
- Share one of your most stressful moments as a chef.
Whilst I was cooking at one of the most remote bush lodges in the country we had a wedding set for 120 people and 150 turned up! If you’re close to a town or city this is not a problem, but in this case the nearest shop was 300 km away. In the end the lamb shanks meant for 120 were “stretched” in some very creative ways to feed all the guests. Luckily it all worked out well in the end and everyone had a great time.
- Are you one of those chefs who don’t cook at home?
Absolutely not! I love cooking when I get home. I have an expansive herb garden which I use all the time, I love making and testing new pasta and bread recipe’s and I am a big fan of curries – all dishes which are eaten with gusto by friends, family and visitors to my home.
- What is your favourite dish?
One of my first jobs was for a restaurant owner who loved pasta and to this day I enjoy making fresh pasta and playing around with sauces, fillings and toppings. So I would have to say its pasta but I also love the process of bread baking and we always have a good selection of freshly baked breads on the menu at Allée Bleue.
- What is still on your bucket list?
I’ve travelled a lot in Southern Africa and lived in England for a while, but I would love to see many more countries. One of the career memories I cherish is my time at a luxury lodge in Mozambique which was in the most idyllic setting you could imagine and on top of that the huge selection of fresh seafood which was delivered daily by local fishermen, made it any chef’s dream job.