I have been indulging in a range of wine and drink-related matters, but at the core of my nucleus, you will find a passion for food.
Yes, I have the papers to substantiate my opinion and even unsolicited I will correct you in the manner of food production or description.
I refer to myself as a “retired chef” due to the fact that I neither produce food nor train future chefs. I may not have competition accolades (quite frankly, I am not a competition chef and will never be; that requires a completely different skillset) or an extensive background. My “food journey” started in France and made a turn at the Cordon Bleu de Paris but it didn’t end with copious amounts of cheap red (Rhône) wine and flaky pastries. I did study at one of the country’s finest Chef Schools (and graduated with an international qualification) and started my career in a dream kitchen with an incredible mentor.
The things you learn as an enthused (mostly energetic) aprentice-chef cannot be undone or taken from you. These were not only lessons in food production, plating and cost control but lessons for life.
Today I admire “grown-ups” who choose to remain in the chef industry despite the gruesome hours and emotional drain of a split shift and the physical pain of exhaustion in your bones. I have respect.
I choose to honour and celebrate the food producers, chefs, winemakers, spirit distillers and everyone who has an impact in the industry of fine food and drinks. Youngers have so much to learn and experience, there is something to be said with “being older and wiser”. I look at a plate of food with admiration; and praise the dedication and passion presented on a mere disk of porcelain, slate or ceramic. It’s not about the splashes, swirls or splotches that seem to rotate in trends, but the flavour profiles, the skills demonstrated and the finesse with which it is presented.
Here are a few pics from my time spent with a team of dedicated individuals who constantly push boundaries of their own creativeness. This is how I support the chef fraternity, and share my passion for food.
Venue: Askari Lodge & Spa (part of the Guvon Hotels and Spas group)
Chef: Wikkie Van Rooyen
Styling and assistance: Daleen Terblanche