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Archive for the ‘Tonights Menu’ category

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken on Chorizo Casoulet.

For the past few months, celebrity Chef Reuben Riffel and the team at Robertsons Spices have been trawling hundreds of South African food blogs. Their mission? To uncover the official Robertsons Spicemaster Blogger, who’ll be keeping readers up to date over the course of this years MasterChef South Africa (Season 2).

Today, myself and 6 local food bloggers descended on The SA Chef’s Academy to participate in a ‘Mystery Box Challenge’, the ingredients unveiled before us, then given 45mins to whip up an original dish.

Provided were a whole chicken and a chorizo sausage. Straight away I went to work on creating a crispy lemon and thyme roast chicken served atop a Spanish infused cassoulet.

The chicken perfectly seasoned with Robertsons Atlantic salt & course black pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and fresh thyme, the cassoulet, a fusion of carrots, onion, celery braised with a hint of Roberstons Garlic Flakes and Mixed Herbs, seasoned with salt and pepper, tinned tomatoes and chickpeas, topped with garlic breadcrumbs.

Followers will know my inspiration are the ingredients themselves, less is more, letting the flavours shine, and seasoned to taste. I let the ingredients shine, from the fresh produce down to the fragrant Robertsons spices.

Sadly I didn’t win the cook off, though it was great fun and we all left with a rack of spices and small enamel pot from Le Creuset.

The week in food

January 21st, 2013

Monday – Five spice beef stirfry with eggy rice

Tuesday – Thai green curry

Wednesday- Butternut, lemongrass & chilli soup topped with deep-fried sage and Parmesan encrusted crostini

Thursday – Seared Tune with grilled courgettes, chili, rocket and garlic bean topped with oregano flowers.

Friday – Beetroot risotto with chevin, walnuts and fresh thyme leaves.

I’ve been rather lax on the subject of food here, I guess in part because some of you may already know that my last blog was a food blog. I blogged recipes and thoughts on food almost everyday, was considered a local foodie celeb (not a fan of either of those terms) and after time it wore me out.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made and continue to foster relationships with several respected food bloggers, we are friends both on and off-line, but my fascination with food was never the food itself, or the latest and trendiest restaurants, but the provenance of the ingredients and the respect they should be shown in home cooking.

Acceptance by the mainstream with regards to “Growing Your Own” is now widespread, just this month Ideas Magazine, Good Housekeeping & SA Garden & Home have all run Q&A features with me on the mater and Mango Juice have run an article on Budget Meal Planning, something I intend to share more about in a later post.

I grow up to 70% of the fruit and vegetables we eat, so I take my cue for meal planning from my own garden, if you follow me on Instagram, you’d have seen these already, but the pics above are an average week in family meal planning.

Several of you have asked for the recipes and I plan to get a few of them up in time, maybe a weekly recipe? It does take time to write it up, something I’m willing to do, but really only if I feel there is a need from my readers to do so. Would you like simple recipe ideas around fresh, seasonal food?

The beetroot risotto recipe will be published in next months issue of Gourmet Magazine, so it’s a start.

I’ve also posted several recipes over at as part of their weekly, Foodie Fridays series.

Tomorrow sees the launch of Nix Davies’s HARVEST installation, which I’m SUPER excited about. I’ve provided much of the fresh produce for the banquet launch as well as plant matter and advice for the collaborative installation.

If you’re in Cape Town, pop in to her Let The Be Light Studio in Sidestreet Studios in Woodstock.

Carrots Don’t Always Grow Straight! from Ian Henderson on Vimeo.

Well as I shared in my last post I’ve been rather busy in various gardens now that Spring has officially sprung, including the one in this video, my 400m2 urban farm in Constantia.

Aside from my passion for design and decor I also have an intense love for food, growing it as much as preparing and eating it.

If you’re based in Cape Town I’ll be doing a ‘Grow Your Own’ workshop at Spier’s Secret Festival next month.

I’m now also turning my focus to home brewing and this weekend I’ll be partaking in a partial mash course at the Beer Lab and will have a full report back for your next week, and hopefully a couple liters of my first brew in the making.

In other news, while laying out our new gallery wall I discovered this great resource for FREE downloadable vintage botanical prints and blogged about it over at

What have you been getting up to this Spring season?

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