Category Life Lessons

The Food Crew – an article for Your Baby magazine in 2010

A recent post on Mommy Mall Cape Town’s Facebook page reminded me of this article I wrote for Your Baby Magazine in 2010.  To tell you the truth, the idea for the article came about because I wanted to interview other moms in business to gain insight into being a mompreneur.  I was actually very surprised when the editor accepted my proposal!

Here is the article as I submitted it – nearly double the length of words that I had been allocated, however Your Baby printed it with very little editing (including using my proposed title).  Grab a cup of tea – the length of this article breaks all the rules of writing a blog post….

Article: “Mom’s The Boss” (working title)

Writer: Joanne Clegg

Date: 05 March 2010

Joanne Clegg of The Food Crew started a Private Chef Service and Marine Cul...

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The Good Food and Wine Show with my ‘mini me’

It’s so close I can almost taste it – this weekend my favourite annual foodie event opens at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The Good Food & Wine Show runs from 21 to 24 May 2015 and brings to us a feast of flavours and edible experiences.

In the decade or more that The Good Food & Wine Show has been dazzling us with the collective consciousness of culinary minds, the show has had different meaning for me. In my mid 20s I was somewhat dragged around the expo by well-meaning parents. A little later in life I found out that the GF&WS is rather a festive meeting place to sample a fair amount of wine with friends. As a chef student in my early 30s I worked behind the scenes and discovered the hard working wheel that keeps an event of this magnitude turning...

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Bruce Robertson’s ship sails all too soon – a tribute

Wow. My heart is unexpectedly heavy today.  My work list remains pretty much untouched, everything seems a little more trivial. Cape Town and South Africa lost a legendary Chef this morning.  I lost a friend.

Absent-minded, barely focussing on anything in particular, I scrolled down my Facebook news feed earlier today…  it caught my eye:  “It is a very sad day today. Chef Bruce passed away this morning…” My immediate reaction – No, this cannot be true, is this some kind of sick joke by someone who has hacked the page? A status message from Pete de Bruin of The Foodbarn confirmed the tragic truth that Bruce had indeed left us. 

I didn’t know Bruce as a chef.  I knew he was a chef, because he emanated the essence of chefness that only top chefs enjoy...

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5 Minutes with SA celebrity chef Jenny Morris – before she goes to jail tomorrow!

BREAKING NEWS!!  One of my long-time culinary heroes is off to jail tomorrow.  Thank goodness I already have her carrot cake recipe!  The details of Jenny Morris’s arrest are sketchy… but bail is set at R20 000 and she is appealing to the public (that’s you and me) to help her raise this amount.  I have it on good authority that all the money raised for her bail is going to The Sunflower Fund, a charity that does incredible work in registering bone marrow stem cell donors in South Africa.

On hearing about the imminent jail term, I asked Jenny a few questions – read on to find out what potentially might be the dish which is the key to this culinary icon’s heart.

From what time will you be jailed on 20 September 2014, and can people visit you in the Cape Quarter to offer cash donat...

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Discover Miele – The Secret to Perfectly Roasted Chicken

The oven in my kitchen is older than the ovens my Gran had in her kitchen when we were kids. Luckily for me, I get to play with some wonderful modern appliances at my clients’ houses.

In February I’m exploring the Banting way of eating, and I also started a series of cooking sessions at Miele’s studio kitchen – to Discover Miele and the benefits of using modern cooking appliances.

Last week the lovely Diana Worling, Account Manager at Miele Tygervalley, gave up half a day of her time to let me play in their ultra modern and wonderfully equipped studio kitchen. In this high tech culinary arena, Diana was the pilot and I was the co-pilot… it was very exciting when I got the reigns to program the combi oven. Yes, my friends, program the oven...

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Let It Be (My Food Philosophy)

A recent encounter with a business venture has left me thinking a lot more than usual about why I choose to work with food.  I use the word ‘encounter’ because it was brief – in just 3 weeks I learned about the type of chef I am not.

It turns out that I am a food snob.  Even if I make a simple homely lasagne, I want it to be the best d*** lasagne possible.  I want to use the best quality mince, the juiciest tomatoes and preferably make the lasagne sheets from scratch.  I want to cook the meat sauce for hours to develop the flavour.  I want to create a luscious bechamel sauce and top it with real parmigiano-reggiano.

I work with food because I love to work with great food.  In my corporate and private catering, I strive to use the freshest and highest quality ingredients available...

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A Hard Day’s Night

Bedtime on Friday… And the end of week 3 at the corporate kitchen.

Waking up at 4:40am, prepping and delivering my corporate breakfasts, rushing to get lunch on the go at the kitchen, fetching my son from school, shopping in the evening and processing a lot of admin late into the night has been both exhilarating and exhausting. Just last night, I had my son in tow, supermarket shopping and then doing a bakery collection at 8:30pm. “Dinner” at our house was a bowl of DasMuesli and vanilla yoghurt – thankfully the owner of DasMuesli dropped off a sample packet of his delicious luxury muesli yesterday, which served as our emergency meal last night. I’ve ordered DasMuesli for my corporate breakfast clients – once you’ve tried this muesli, you’re not likely to ever buy anything else.

Today we l...

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A Day in The Life

The Food Crew grew up this week. We’re now in an office block in Salt River, with a kitchen overlooking Cape Town’s harbour and city. I haven’t had a chance to look out the window long enough to check if you can see the mountain. When I have a moment to breath, I’ll let you know.

I was taken on to the balcony yesterday and shown the ‘mind garden’ – a collection of potted plants and herbs, which is a staff initiative. I was thrilled to be asked to use the herbs in my cooking – and today my potato wedges were scented with freshly picked rosemary from a 4th floor balcony in the city.

My camera hasn’t come out of my bag since we’ve been in our new premises. I use the term ‘we’ lightly – the lady who I was hoping would be my assistant decided today that working in a kitchen was not for her...

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September’s “I Made It” Challenge

And in other news… I am honoured to be chosen by Tandy Sinclair of Lavender and Lime to host this month’s
“I Made It” Challenge.

The Challenge that I’m both excited and apprehensive to present is the intimidating (to me at least) and classic dish, Cassoulet.

Many moons ago, I invited my cousin for dinner. I asked him what he’d like me to make. He told me that he absolutely loved Cassoulet. I pretended to know what he was talking about, as us seasoned cooks are supposed to have a encyclopedic knowledge of all things culinary. It sounded French, so I turned to the guru of French cooking, Julia Child.

Upon finding the recipe in Mastering the Art, I found out that Julia Child’s recipe for Cassoulet is 3 pages long, and you could feed hungry people for week’s on the cost… Needless to say, I th...

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Meaty Moments – Freshly Blogged Challenge 2!

Happily no-one in the challenge has been chopped yet – but I still feel incredibly lucky to be in the competition 🙂

At first, this week’s challenge looked starkingly simple.  Who wouldn’t make a stew and dumplings when given beef shin, a Knorr Stock Pot and beef suet to work with?  The room for playing came in the form of a PnP soup mix.  As easy as it would be to throw all the ingredients of the pack into the stew and come out with something delicious, I wanted to have something more on the plate than a hearty stew.  It had never occured to me to buy the soup mix and use it for anything else than my nourishing whole free-range chicken soup...

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