Hastings on Food

2016-03-31 06:00

SALUTATIONS. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the recent holidays and ate and drank to their hearts desire.

When I started my career in 1972, the cooking industry in South Africa was generally frowned upon. Chefs were looked on as being the lowest of the low and likened to persons doing mundane duties that did not really bring any worth to one’s life.

Thankfully, today the industry has evolved to be one of the most fundamental aspects of social society, and the opportunities for developing chefs today are far greater than ever before.

Cooking and entertaining have become a serious pastime for countless individuals and the exposure one is subject to on social media as well as the numerous cooking channels and written publications has raised the bar whereby individuals who are not within the industry are wowing friends and family by being uniquely adventurous with superior creations.

Today we view cooking at home as being in control of our ingredients, preparing healthier meals and removing the stress from the experience, helping you live longer as well as having fun when you are creating mouth-watering treats.

To enhance on this you must be mindful of what you are doing, but you must stay focused. Listening to music while prepping helps to relax and removes the monotony of tedious tasks. Having a family member or friend present to share the experience while partaking of the cooking wine, in moderation of course, also enhances the experience.

If you are cooking alone you can listen to an audio book and remember it is okay to snack while you cook. Once your dishes are prepared take photographs and share them with others. Additionally, by using uncomplicated fast familiar or unfamiliar, theme or regular recipes with the appropriate tools or equipment will compliment the experience, and remember to clean as you go to ensure that when the cooking is done your kitchen is 100% clean and the thought of having to clear and clean is eliminated.

Plan your meals and prep what you can beforehand and remember to change your perspective experiment and enjoy the process - cook a dish from your childhood. Organise your kitchen and take out your frustrations when crushing the garlic and use the following trivia:

Do you realise that vitamin A is the only vitamin not found in potatoes? Pineapples, although idolised in island locations, actually originated from South America.

When translated, linguine pasta literally means little tongues. The fish most eaten in the world is herring. Black eyed peas are actually beans. Norway eats more Mexican spiced food than any other.

Surprisingly, pepper and mustard are the two top selling spices in the world. The nectarine is actually a variety of the peach and is not a crossed version of fruits that some people think it is. Mozzarella cheese is made from the water buffalos milk,

Madagascar produces two thirds of the world’s vanilla. The ancient Egyptians used onions when taking oaths as its shape symbolised eternity.

The Bloody Mary was originally called the red snapper first made in Harry’s New York bar in Paris.

Yoghurt once was considered to be used as substitute for meat.

All of this is way and good, but remember that being in cooking full time and making a career from it is still considered to in the top 10 stressful jobs.

Relish your kitchen.


As the heat wave and humidity continues keep it cold tasty and simple

Grilled beef salad with baby greens and exotic fruits


•750 grams beef fillet, sliced into strips

•rainbow pepper

•Khoisan sea salt

•olive oil

•gooseberries cut into half

•one mango cut into slices

•10xblack grapes deseeded and cut into halves

•baby spinach

•two oranges segmented

•two avocado cut into slices

•basil picked

•125 grams blue cheese cut into cubes

•8xquail eggs boiled and peeled

•100 grams pumpkin seeds lightly toasted

•50 grams mixed seeds

•edible flowers

•baby shoots


•Season the beef fillet strips and sauté over high heat till rare to medium remove and set one side

•Mix the goose berries, grapes, oranges and mango into a bowl set aside

•Mix the blue cheese, pumpkin seeds and mixed seeds into a bowl set aside

•Mix the picked basil with the baby spinach set aside

•Mix the beef fillet with the baby spinach

•Arrange on the middle of a plate

•Mix the fruits together with blue cheese and seeds

•Add to the plate on top of the spinach

•Top with the baby shoots quail eggs and avocado

•Garnish with edible flowers.

Today we view cooking at home as being in control of our ingredients,
preparing healthier meals and removing the stress from the experience

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