Whether dough­nuts are made with cake bat­ter or yeast dough, iced or plain, they’re se­ri­ously un­healthy. Howard Shenker, a com­mit­ted ban­ter, chose to re­ject the ‘dough’ part and de­vised a not­dough­nut that’s be­come a hit at mar­kets in Gauteng.

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But­ter Me Up’s Ba­con Dough­nuts are draw­ing fans all over Gauteng

‘ Ihave loved cook­ing and en­ter­tain­ing since I worked in restau­rants in Lon­don in the Nineties,’ says Howard Shenker of But­ter Me Up. Howard is an avid trav­eller and, in­stead of show­ing pho­tos to his friends when he gets home, he shares his ad­ven­tures by de­sign­ing feasts in­spired by his trav­els and invit­ing his friends to din­ner.

In time he started flirt­ing with the idea of cook­ing pro­fes­sion­ally. Howard’s ini­tial idea was to pro­vide food-and-wine pair­ing din­ners while sell­ing food at a few mar­kets on the side. As a ban­ter – he lost an im­pres­sive 25kg over two years – he wanted his food to re­flect his pas­sion and be­lief in the low-carb life­style.

While scrolling through an Amer­i­can BBQ fo­rum Howard was in­spired by a recipe for an onion ring wrapped in ba­con. Through trial and er­ror he con­cocted what he be­lieves is the per­fect snack: an onion ring and red pep­per ring, with savoury pork mince and moz­zarella cheese, all wrapped in the finest qual­ity streaky ba­con, ca­ressed with a tangy BBQ sauce and lightly smoked on the grill. The ‘Ba­con Dough­nut’ was born, along with But­ter Me Up.

Howard took his ‘dough­nut’ to a mar­ket for the first time in April 2016 and quickly re­alised he had a win­ner on his hands. He soon took over the mar­ket scene in Jo­han­nes­burg, sell­ing out of all his prod­ucts and re­ceiv­ing com­ments such as ‘That’s the best thing I have eaten in… for­ever…’.

Along­side the Ba­con Dough­nut at But­ter Me Up stalls you’ll find Banting Egg Muffins; Smoked Scotch Eggs (a boiled egg wrapped in minced pork and ba­con); Jalapeño Pop­pers stuffed with cream cheese, Ched­dar cheese, and pulled pork and wrapped in ba­con; pulled pork smoked for seven hours and served on banting rolls; and other classic BBQ items with a banting twist.

Howard is com­mit­ted to food items on the Green List in The Real Meal Rev­o­lu­tion. His home­made BBQ sauce and banting may­on­naise are strictly low-carb and so de­li­cious he has been asked to make them avail­able to cus­tomers. His Face­book fol­low­ers dub his prod­ucts ‘mag­nif­i­cent, mouth­wa­ter­ing’ and claim that ‘This is banting heaven!’

But­ter Me Up also pro­vides a gourmet banting cater­ing ser­vice so­phis­ti­cated enough to hold its own against con­ven­tional cater­ing ser­vices but Howard is not a to­tal purist: if spe­cific non­bant­ing items are re­quested, such as his award-win­ning brown­ies, he’ll re­lent and add them to the menu.

Howard’s dream is to pro­vide all health-con­scious in­di­vid­u­als with more ac­cess to hon­est, healthy (and de­li­cious!) food. He aims to ex­pand his mar­ket pres­ence to more than one mar­ket a day, grow the banting cater­ing ser­vice and ul­ti­mately get his prod­ucts into spe­cial­ist delis.



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