Saturday, February 16, 2013
Friday, February 8, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
Sunday, February 3, 2013
I would like to run a small survey with all of you who do read the blog no matter where in the world you are reading it from. So I have a small list of Questions that I would like all of you to answer by sending a comment.
- Where is your favourite Breakfast Restaurant & why do you enjoy going there?
- What is your favourite Breakfast at the above mentioned Restaurant?
- What would your ideal Breakfast Restaurant be? Location? Pricing? Setting?
- What would your ideal Breakfast meal be? Description and pricing?
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Be the Chef day is going to involve 5 teams of two getting there hands dirty in the kitchen at St Francis Links for the night, we will be closed for outside business but we will be planning and preparing our own meal which we will sit down after the class and eat all together and have a discussion on food and how to make food easier and tastier for you at home as the home cook.
This month it is going to be based on Italian and how to make homemade pasta without a pasta machine, how to make ravioli's where the fillings will only be limited to your imagination, how to make carpaccio, we will also do a simple yet really tasty Italian dessert to finish it off with.
Price is R295 per person however if you book as a "couple" or "two" people we will make it only R500. there will be bar service, you will be hands on in the kitchen with myself and we will have one cleaner to assist with washing up. So it will be up to you to chop, cut, slice, knead and cook your meal.
You be be provided with an apron, chef's hat, the use of all the kitchen equipment, as well as all the recipe for everything that you will be preparing and cooking so that you can try them out at home.
This evening to based to be a fun interactive evening, i will be wanting to do them on the last Thursday of every month.
Call the Links to enquire further, 042 200 4500, ask to speak to Olga or Eugenie
Shall We Dine?”
The French Kiss
fresh local mussels steamed with onion, garlic, methode cap classique and saffron, finished with cream and served with homemade ciabatta
The South African Fling
rooibos smoked chicken breast on a bed of
endives, rocket and mizuna, topped with a pineapple,
apricot and lavender salsa
The Italian Affair…
beef carpaccio on red mustard leaves with capers, crumbed
camembert, vanilla and red pepper sorbet served with melba toasts
250g ox fillet roasted to perfection, sliced, with a port glaze and served with crispy roasted potatoes, onion tobacco and sautéed mushrooms
tagliatelle pasta with prawns, mussels, gurnard, leek and smoked bacon in a creamy garlic and cider sauce and topped with a tempura oyster
duck breast served on a bed of braised red cabbage, crispy potato rosti
and topped with a gooseberry reduction
…for the love of chocolate
hot Lindt 70% Ecuador Chocolate Fondant
served with salted caramel and vanilla ice-cream
imported French brie, creamy dolce latte gorgonzola,
served with biscotti, preserves and port
Friday, February 1, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
Friday, January 25, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
• A diploma in professional cookery is essential
• At least 3 years working experience as a sous or junior head chef
• Able to solely manage a busy kitchen shift in the absence of the Head Chef
• Conduct training
• Excellent cooking skills and menu planning
• Fully computer literate with experience in stock orders and control
• Staff supervision and rostering
• Would suit a motivated, team player who sets culinary trends
Start date as soon as possible.
Please note that NO TELEPHONIC ENQUIRIES will be entertained. Applicants who do not receive replies to their applications by 14 January 2013, should consider their applications unsuccessful.
please mail you CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, September 13, 2012
with honey ice-cream and berry coulis
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
I would like to know how many people are aware of our sea's and the fish inside them.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
For those of you who don't know, I recently agreed to be an ambassador for SASSI, which stands for South Africa Sustainable Seafood Initiative, as I have realized more and more how bad the fishing stocks have become, the biggest problem remains that most people are uneducated to the fact, and there fore ignorance is bliss so they say, so I have taken it apon myself to try to educate as many people as I can about the resources in our oceans, I do not get anything from SASSI for doing this, what I get out of this is to know that my kids are going to be able to grow up eating and enjoying the oceans resources as I have been fortunate to do.
Monday, September 10, 2012
On the 28th Sepmember 2012, I will be hosting a spring spectacular dinner at St Francis Links, 3 course dinner with a cooking demo and an in depth discussion on cooking and eating sustainable seafood, an evening not to be missed. Only R150 per person, includes a guide to buying sustainable seafood. Hope to see most of you there.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The evening will involve the introduction of Molecular Gastronomy into classic dishes, and how the 2 can marry together. It will include an in-depth discussion on Molecular Gastronomy as well as the perception of flavours and all that influences them.
I have been playing with molecular gastronomy for about 18 months now and have found that it can be extremely interesting, but at the same time, it takes a special kind of person to buy into the whole concept, i enjoy playing with it, but i still prefer the old classics and a classic style of cooking, so on this evening i have ventured into doing both, so kind of a "New School" meets "Old School"kind of evening, i personally think that it is going to be a winner combination.
I don't like small poncy plates of food so this will not be an evening of that.
Cost is only R150 per person, this is for a 5 course meal and a demo/talk on molecular gastronomy.
Don't miss it!!!!!!
Monday, August 13, 2012
This is a little recipe that i worked on quite a while back, it is the result of a little research into molecular gastronomy. I know it looks like it can't possibly be tomato juice, but i promise it is pure tomato juice, I made this cocktail and tried it verse a normal bloody mary and out of 6 people tasting, all of them including myself preferred this version as it has much better tomato flavours and is not as bland.
Now I will explain as much of the recipe as possible, but I do not have exact measurements of everything, i am just really bad at doing that, and this was still very experimental.
Basic list of Ingredients
2kg Whole Tomatoes
125ml Tabasco Sauce
125ml Worcestershire Sauce
A whole lot of time
low calcium water
1 tsp salt - additive and preservative free
First up you quarter the tomatoes and cut out the middle "seed" pods, this is the only part that you want to use in this recipe, salt them and leave them in a warm place for about 6 hours, this will allow all the liquid to be released from the seed pods, now strain and pour the liquid into a long clear glass and store in the fridge for about 12 hours to allow the pigments to settle, now pour off the top liquid that is clear, and strain through cheese cloth that is folded 4 times so that it is thick and catches the last of the particles, take a 1/4 cup of water and dissolve 1/4 tsp agar agar in the water whilst boiling it on a stove top. Once the agar agar was dissolved take it off the heat and leave to cool, then whisk this into the clear tomato juice and place in the fridge to set.
Take 10g of Sodium Alginate and dissolve it in 2lts of low calcium water, you will need to use a stick blender to do this as sodium alginate is hydro-phobic, once all the alginate has dissolve you need to place this mixture in the fridge and leave to settle all the bubbles out, takes about 24 hours.
Take the Tabasco sauce and mix it with 1/8 tsp of sodium citrate and 1/4 tsp of calcium lactate, mix this together and leave so that all the bubbles can settle.
Take the Worcestershire sauce and mix with 1/8 tsp of Xanthan Gum, 1/8 tsp sodium citrate and 1/4 tsp calcium lactate and also leave to settle.
Now take the set tomato juice and puree it in a food processor, this gives it the same "pulp" like texture as tomato cocktail, mix with vodka and pour into a cocktail glass with some crushed ice.
take a spoon of the Tabasco mixture and gently place it into the alginate bath, leave it for 2 minutes take it out with a slotted spoon, it will have a translucent membrane around it that will hold it, gently place this into the cocktail and repeat the process for the Worcestershire sauce.
Garnish with a celery stalk and a straw, sit back and watch in amazement at the beauty that you have created.
Got to love being a Chef!!!!!!!!
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
A little something that i have been playing with this winter is cured meats, very interesting thing this, i have played around with some bacon, I made my own smoked streaky bacon, absolutely wonderful, totally totally different to any store bought stuff that you find. I have now got curing some savoury bacon, maple bacon, parma ham and my second batch of pancetta, I have had my first batch an almost failure and have researched it a little more and found out where I went wrong so no it is off to making the parma and a second batch of pancetta that is going to be much more successful. All of this is in aid of being able to offer as much food on our menu's that is produced in house without artificial curing agents and extra added preservatives and all the other stuff that your body 1) doesn't want 2)doesn't need 3) wasn't designed to use. Salt curing of meats and the use of nitrites in curing meats has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, it just seems that of late "my generation" is losing touch with all of these wonderful and amazing crafts like making cheese, eating organic vegetables straight out of the garden eating meat that doesn't have growth hormones and antibiotics injected into them on a regular basis.
I put this all down to people becoming more driven by money and the lust for it that globalization has reigned supreme, i know for a fact that my grand parents used to grow all of these things and produced all of these things on there own, and this was not the way that they only lived my gran father still had a job on the gold mines, but it was the norm back then to have your own chickens, a big vegetable patch, some pigs and sheep. Now all we want it live is convenience and ease of living hence nice big houses with small gardens. So it gives me great pleasure in being able to do something that is now classed as Artisan, i love making sour dough breads, my own sour dough culture i have been using for 4 months now and is thriving, I enjoy making my own sausages so much so i do not buy any in anymore, it is too easy to make and a heck of a lot cheaper. I really enjoy making my own cheeses and have now found a way to make REAL ricotta instead of throwing the whey away, so it costs me nothing to make just a little time, and then i have the advantage of using this ricotta in making some pasta dishes, which I also make my own pasta as well.
I can see by December offering a Ploughmans platter with Homemade sour Dough Bread, Homemade pork and beef sausages, homemade pickles and preserves, pancetta, parma ham and homemade cheese, and all of this in an upmarket restaurant setting. I couldn't think of anything better to be doing other than something that has been forgotten over the years, it is the same when it comes to my cooking, i love to recreate old restaurant classic - again because these things are being forgotten.
Now i know i have gone a little off the beaten track here in this blog as the main aim was to talk about the productions of hams. So let me get back to the point........
The basics of making any hams and cured meats the most important thing is hygiene and sterilization of everything used in the production process, then secondly is good salt that is free of any additives, and then thirdly is good quality pigs!!
Now this last one is the hardest one to find, i am battling tremendously to find naturally reared pigs that have only been feed on raw vegetables and natural proteins and not fed on pellets and old restaurant scraps, i have been battling so much so with this that i have now decided to rear my own little porkers to make hams and bacon and so forth with. I have a supplier and friend who i get all my organic produce from and he would love to rear them for me, the area he has for them is probably around 30m x 5m and is it totally free range, with some citrus trees on on of the boundary fences (that means lots of lovely windfall fruit for the piggies) and then it has a beautiful roofed area that we will concrete for them to sleep in, now i know that are might not sound big but it is if you consider that i only want to rear 3 pigs at a time. they will be fed on all the off cuts of the organic produce, i also have alot of vegetables peels that i keep for a worm farm at the moment that i can fed them, and also the left over whey from my cheese making to give them as protein, so it seems if all goes according to plan that i will be growing some really good A-grade pork soon.
Ok now to get back onto track again, so if you have these essentials you're more than half way to making good ham, the last thing that you need is a storage area that is around 15c and about 80% humidity, this is a lot easier than you think, I have used a double door standing fridge that has been set to 15c, and i have a couple of buckets of water in there to create good humidity, you can buy a simple humidifier that can be set.
Now you have everything you need and you want to make ham, lets start with the most famous of them all the Parma ham, who you can only call Parma Ham if it comes from certain parts of Italy and has been through all the strict checks, so for ease i am going to call it prosciutto, which is the same thing.
You will need 1 Pork back leg whole with the trotter still attached
2kg additive free salt
500g black pepper
500g pork lard (you can buy some pork back fat from the butcher cut it up small and cook it gently for a couple of hours to render out all the fat) now if you are rearing your own pigs, this would be something to use instead of just throwing it away.
Firstly you need to cut out the aitch bone, so that the only bone that is visible is the ball joint of the hip, any exposed bones poses a higher risk of spoilage, now you must liberally salt the leg, and especially concerntrate on the exposed meat section of it, them place this into a non reactive container cover with cling film and place 10kg weight on it, you need to leave it in the refridgerator or 1 day per 500g weight, i started with a 8,2kg leg so i left it in for 17 days, you will need to check it every day and if there is any liquid at the bottom of the container you will need to pour that out, dry the container and re-salt the meat.
Once you have done this process so can wash off all the salt and pat the meat dry with some kitchen paper, once it is dry pack the exposed meat part with lard and then black pepper, the black pepper stops bugs and insects from sitting on it exposing it to bacteria.
Now comes the fun part of all of this, you need to hang this for about 12-24 months at 15c at 80% humidity.
it will lose about half its original weight when it is ready. then slice super thin and enjoy!!!!!!!!!
here is a quick little interesting thing that i am sure more people dont know about,
Proper Bacon the way it is meant to be made takes around 8-10 days to cure, commercially produced bacon from the time of starting the curing to being sliced and packed ready for resale is about 3 hours!!!!!!!