Suc­cess

Weekend Witness - - Arts - JACKIE CAMERON

Kwiz­een. He was in charge of the en­tire kitchen set-up. From start to fin­ish this was a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence. In 10 min­utes we got our soup out for 500 peo­ple!

Work­ing with all th­ese pro­fes­sion­als made the task an ab­so­lute plea­sure — a bril­liant mile­stone in my foodie ca­reer.

The awards were emo­tional for many restau­rant teams. More than ever be­fore, I be­lieve the chefs in South Africa are striv­ing for great­ness — ev­ery day. The lev­els of cre­ativ­ity are in­spi­ra­tional. So, get­ting called up on stage as the num­ber five restau­rant in the coun­try was pretty as­ton­ish­ing. Es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing where we are based and where we have come from.

This was a true team ef­fort. Ev­ery staff mem­ber wanted the award as badly as I did. Elaine and I have been the only qual­i­fied chefs in the ho­tel kitchen for many years and I’m al­ways amazed at what the team — from the scullery women to the kitchen helpers and the wait­rons — put out on a day-to-day ba­sis.

Loy­alty and ded­i­ca­tion are part of each mem­ber’s make up and it’s what gets me up in the morn­ing.

This brings me to my birth­day, and those read­ers who fol­low my col­umn know birth­days are an oc­ca­sion for me.

So, this year I in­sisted on cel­e­brat­ing very lo­cally to en­sure the Hart­ford House kitchen team could, at some part of the day, join me in com­mem­o­rat­ing my spe­cial day as well as the end of a hard-work­ing year.

Sa­pore in Not­ting­ham Road popped straight to mind for a long, lazy, fes­tive day. The restau­rant is owned by my friends Andy Bain­bor­ough and Ge­off Com­brinck.

It’s a ca­sual eatery, and sit­ting out­side shar­ing a bot­tle of bub­bles with my mates on a Sun­day af­ter­noon con­jures up such happy mem­o­ries for me. Sa­pore has re­cently opened a hip-and-hap­pen­ing bar along­side the restau­rant.

I wish I had more avail­able time to visit there ‘cos it’s ul­tra cool. My kind of place to just kuier…

The menu in­cludes some­thing for all palates; from sushi and pizza to sal­ads and pas­tas. Sa­pore’s own­ers have hap­pily parted with a few of their recipes to tan­ta­lise your palates this month.

Elaine, my sous chef, rec­om­mends Sa­pore’s Chi­nese chicken. Elaine is my rock, my con­stant, my right and left hand. She knows me in­side and out, un­der­stands my crazi­ness and deep de­sires — and if she says it’s good you know it is de­li­cious.

Add Tem­pura veg­etable for an in­ter­est­ing twist or serve on its own with a dip­ping sauce — both are tasty com­bi­na­tions.

Bread of any sort is my weak­ness so a Sa­pore cia­batta is just right for me.

Br­uschetta is sim­ply de­li­cious when served freshly crisp with Mediter­ranean top­pings. This is of­ten my or­der at Sa­pore when I want to fill the gap be­tween meals. As I’ve al­ready said Sa­pore is a place you can chill out with mates — any time.

Ev­ery chef/restau­rant has a unique pesto recipe — and they’re all good. Try Sa­pore’s as an al­ter­na­tive to mine. We must cel­e­brate eater­ies that make their own be­cause, I as­sure you, many restau­rants th­ese days buy in a lot of their prod­ucts. Noth­ing tastes bet­ter than dishes home made with love, rather than com­mer­cially man­u­fac­tured poor cousins!

Pole-caught tuna fish cakes are scrump­tious and this dish ad­heres to Sassi (South African Sus­tain­able Seafood Ini­tia­tive).

We only serve green-listed fish at Hart­ford House — noth­ing on the orange/red list be­cause we are con­sci­en­tious about con­serv­ing the sta­tus of over-ex­ploited seafood.

To find out more visit: www.wwf.org.za/sassi; and to check the sta­tus of any fish, text its name to 079 499 8795 and you’ll re­ceive the an­swer. Save this num­ber and sms “the fish of the day” when din­ing out, you will be sur­prised and shocked at what some restau­rants are sell­ing.

Serve the Sa­pore tuna fish cakes with a sweet honey and gin­ger sauce. This prom­ises to im­press your guests.

Here’s to happy cel­e­bra­tions at Sa­pore with your friends and fam­ily. If you haven’t been — visit soon. I wish I had more so­cial time with my fam­ily, friends and the Hart­ford House team — they all mean the world to me.

En­joy cook­ing up a Sa­pore storm! • Send com­ments and food-re­lated ques­tions to jackie@jack­iecameron.co.za • Visit www.jack­iecameron.co.za to find out more about my women’s chef range, Jackie Cameron Cooks at Home

SA­PORE’S BR­USCHETTA SA­PORE’S POLE-CAUGHT TUNA FISH CAKES WITH SWEET HONEY AND GIN­GER SAUCE SA­PORE’S CHI­NESE CHICKEN

• 500 g cherry toma­toes. • Basil leaves. • One red onion. • Olive oil. Take four slices of the cia­batta you made ear­lier and toast well on a hot grid­dle on both sides. Slice the cherry toma­toes, dice the red onions and tear the basil, and...

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