Every stokvel needs good catering equipment
Celebrity chef, Lucia Mthiyane, shares tips with Nomkhosi Miya about choosing the right equipment for your stokvel
YOU might be good cooks but if you are still serving food the old-fashioned way, this may prevent your stokvel group from shining amongst your peers. Using the right catering equipment can help your team display its mouthwatering dishes beautifully.
Celebrity chef, Lucia Mthiyane, says your dish is as important as your catering equipment. She explains that catering equipment includes the utensils you use to cook, the fridges you store your food in, and the plates you serve your food on when you have an event such as a funeral, wedding or tombstone. Lucia shares her tips on choosing the right catering equipment to serve food during your events.
GETTING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT ➊ Buy quality
Lucia says your catering equipment must always be up to standard to ensure that you provide your guest with the best possible experience. Therefore, buy quality equipment that will also last you for a long time.
“It’s important to have good cooking equipment. If you cook food on a stove that has problems with temperature control, then you are bound to serve people burnt food. Stokvels should save up enough money to buy a gas stove with an electronic oven and their cooking experience will never be the same again,” she advises.
Lucia also adds that presentation is everything when it comes to serving the food you’ve prepared for your guests. “No matter how delicious your food is, people will not be pleased if the food is served on old, rusty crockery. No one will be coming back for more,” she says.
“Buying good-quality equipment will also help you if you later decide to hire it out to other people and make extra income for your stokvel.”
➋ Find a good supplier
Take your time to find a good supplier. When you buy equipment, always make sure that it’s from a trustworthy retailer. If you buy from any other supplier, you might end up buying lowquality goods that may give you problems over time.
Lucia says, “Relying on wordof-mouth is good, but getting feedback from previous customers is even better. You need to buy from a company that can be trusted to deliver the equipment it promises on time, and in good working order. Make sure you can get in touch with the company should you need any assistant with the equipment you bought.”
➌ Look for variety
Lucia says the best place to buy catering equipment is from supplier who stocks a variety of products. This means that you will have a lot of choice. Brands that are not necessary new can be trusted when it comes to the quality of the cooking equipment.
BASIC CATERING EQUIPMENT YOU MAY NEED
■ Gas stove and electric oven. ■ Pots and pans. ■ Plates, cups and glasses. ■ Cutting boards and cutlery. ■ Slow cooker. ■ Pressure cooker.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT
“In order to comply with health and safety regulations, you need to keep certain utensils like knives and chopping boards clean and in top condition. When they start showing signs of being worn out, then you must immediately replace them. Buy new ones and avoid your stokvel failing a health and safety inspection,” says Lucia.
She adds that it’s important to clean your equipment with warm water and soap after use and store it in a dry place where there is no moisture.
If you haven’t used your pots or pans for a while, fill them with water and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda for easy scrubbing.
“If you are using electronic appliances, please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or website to find out how to keep them clean without damaging them,” advises Lucia.
Lucia Mthiyane (RIGHT) says having good equipment not only makes cooking much easier, but it makes your food look appealing too