Food Chefs and memories

My day has been made. My bell rang, donned on my mask and went to the gate in my fluffy Woolies pjs and slippers to receive my lockdown order of his latest book Mile 8 from David Higgs the funds of which are going towards paying his staff at his restaurant during lockdown. I am bowled over and when I saw the message inside, David, you made my day. The DHL guys were so friendly too.

My secret love when working at WINE magazine was working on the Eat Beat columns sourcing photos etc and on Top 100 Restaurant Guide with the wonderful Jos Baker who is now 83 and later DINE with Justine Drake and Anna Trapido.

I loved getting to know the chefs and organising the awards lunches in Cape Town and Pretoria or Johannesburg.
These lunches went on forever having so many chefs in one room. I had the honour to meet amazing people some of whom I feel I can count as friends.

I cried when I heard of the passing of young Bruce Robertson, Francke Zlomke & Bruno and Lannice Snyman, the whole culinary fraternity went into mourning, I have rejoiced when I have seen chefs being awarded accolades and become angry when chefs are berated in the media or on social media. I have had the honour to see how hard they work and their passion they put into serving us, their guests in their pride and joys.

I have been treated to some most amazing meals that will always be in my memories. Those phone calls from the likes of David and many others inviting myself and hubby to dinner in their new restaurant for nothing in return as I am not a journalist, I was and hopefully still am the person in the background organising and ensuring the events ran smoothly.

My memories of many meals enjoyed at the Grande Roche and the evening Francke made me a very special truffle soup because I don’t eat sweet breads. The meals at Meerendal and Rust en Vrede when David was there. The amazing meals at Awards lunches at Overture by Bertus Basson, the many gorgeous meals at Reubens by Riffel Reuben, Aubergine (Harald Bresselschmidt), Mount Nelson (Rudi Liebenberg), One.Waterfront (Bruce Robertson), Westcliffe Jhb, Le Canard (Madame Appelbaum), Den Anker (Rejeanne Vlietman & Doekle Vlietman), Cassis, Quartier Francaise (Margot Janse), Oude Welgemoed (David Grier), The Greenhouse (Peter Tempelhoff), Catharina’s (Garth Almazan ), Bread & Wine (Neil & Tina Jewell) La Colombe (Franck Dangereux & Luke Dale Roberts), Au Jardin and Joosteberg Bistro (Christophe and Susan deHosse) and the list goes on. The way my colleague and I were welcomed by Fortunato Mazzone in Pretoria and were even treated to join him and his family for Sunday lunch the day before the awards lunch. This is what makes our chefs so special. The day I called Peter Goffe-Wood and asked him if he could cook for me at Dave Hughes Tribute dinner and how he, Reuben, George and Bertus who generously cooked delicious courses at no charge. The other chefs who came on board for the other Dave Hughes dinners, Colin Archibald Maclean, Vanie Padayachee, David Mac Donald, Brendan Stein and Lulu Oosthuizen and Garth Johnson all these chefs gave their time and talent free of charge to assist me in raising funds for such an iconic man. Sadly I cannot find a photo of the chefs at Dave’s 80th Birthday. Never forgetting Neethlingsof Estate and Allan Ware and his team.

Just had to mention the day I contacted Pete Goffe-Wood and David Higgs just before Christmas and asked them to send a video message to a little girl I know who was spending Christmas in hospital. She had watched them on TV. There was no hesitation – they took time out of their busy lives and filmed beautiful messages which was sent to her. Thank you guys.

When the call for food for the needy came, all these wonderful people stepped up to the plate and started feeding the nation.

Please support these wonderful people by purchasing their take away meals and when the lockdown is lifted please support their restaurants. Give them wonderful reviews so that when the tourists return to our shores they will support them too.

Thank you for the memories past and future.

These are our celebrities – our wonderful chefs in the kitchens of some world class kitchens dotted all over South Africa and abroad.