In the beginning:
I thought that it would be only fitting that my first post be about how I first got into the world of gastronomy. Believe it or not, cheffing did not come to me naturally! I vividly recall the first meal I made for my family at the tender age of 11 years – an oily, soggy Spanish omelette. To this day, I have no idea how they managed to finish it!
So, when it came to choosing a career path, a life in the kitchen never occurred to me. I dabbled in law, animal science and even completed my first two years of a Pure and Applied Chemistry degree, but none of these fields ignited a passion. My parents were beyond exasperated and sent me off in search of a job to pay back my mounting student loans! As fate would have it, I landed a job buying and delivering for a catering company that specialised in picnics.
On the road to becoming a chef:
One morning, the kitchen was short-staffed and I was asked to lend a hand. It was love at first bite! So, I enrolled in the famed Christina Martin School of Food and Wine and completed my diploma. I then packed my knives and headed for London where I spent two years.
I first worked in a Bond Street restaurant, frequented by famous soccer players and actors. And at Le Café Du Marche, working under Simon Cottard – a Roux Brothers trained executive chef – I developed an appreciation for classical French cooking. My time abroad was invaluable and stood me in good stead for my return to South African shores.
Back in the motherland:
Back home, I spent a number of years working in, and heading up, kitchens in Durban before starting my own business supplying restaurants and catering companies with fresh produce and unusual culinary ingredients, which I personally sourced. Fresh produce is definitely not the easiest commodity to trade in, so, when the opportunity for a fulltime position with Knorr was offered, I jumped at the chance, and as they say, the rest is history!
My culinary skills have vastly improved since that first Spanish Omelette, and here is a recipe to prove it. A light and fluffy, Traditional Spanish Omelette that I guarantee your family will love! For an extra burst of colour and flavour, add a handful of fresh garden peas.
I’d love to know more about the first dish you remember cooking; tell us all about it in a comment!