How to revolutionise cooking when you’re pressed for time

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Chef Zola Nene chats to Dr Harri as he creates a vegetarian feast. Photo: File
Chef Zola Nene chats to Dr Harri as he creates a vegetarian feast. Photo: File

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Globally, there’s been an increase in the use of kitchen appliances that make life a lot easier.

The demand for such items has surged amid the struggle to juggle work, life and home responsibilities, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw many people take up cooking during the harsher lockdowns.

One such appliance is Philips’ All-In-One Cooker, which has 35 multifunctional preset settings. Who knew we needed that many?

Chef Zanele Van Zyl stayed true to her roots by making a South African classic with a twist. Photo: File

During the recent launch of the cooker, which featured a cook-off between top South African cooks and chefs, renowned chef Zola Nene said her food philosophy was centred on comfort food and cooking up a nostalgic dream, especially the delicious meals her gogo or her mother would create.

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But comfort food is a labour of love that takes time – a commodity that is a luxury for most.

“Phillips has created this incredible appliance that will cut down your cooking time. Nene asked:

How amazing will it be to feed food that you can prepare in 30 minutes or less?

During the launch, chef Zanele Van Zyl celebrated South African classics by making creamy mushroom and garlic samp with a hearty ostrich stew.

“It is like getting a new phone – you play around with it until you get it right. So, once you have played around with the cooker, it is easy to use. The best function for me is how you can reduce the steam before you open it, which most pressure cookers do not do,” she said.

Chef Jenni Morris had a winning recipe, taking first prize in the cook-off with her Mediterranean chicken stew. Photo: File

Masterchef 2022 contestant Udhir “Dr Harri” Harrinarain created a vegetarian feast with an Indian flavour, including a lentil, chickpea and paneer delight.

He said:

People always think that as chefs, we always have time to cook, which is actually the opposite.

“So, with this pressure cooker, cutting cooking time from two hours to 30 minutes is fantastic and it is very easy to use.”

Chef Jenni Morris cooked a Mediterranean chicken stew served with rice that took only 25 to 30 minutes to make.

Phillips’ marketing manager Elke van Vledder with chef Zola Nene. Photo: File

When asked what her favourite setting on the cooker was, she said: “It’s like asking me who my favourite child is because all the functions tick all the boxes for me. I can say I like the pressure from the cooker. It keeps all the nutrition and deliciousness from the meal locked in.”

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Morris received the highest score (judged by the guests at the event) and won the challenge for the best dish.


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