Publisher: Human & Rousseau
Click here to buy a copy from Kalahari.net.
The huge number of varieties and ingredients on supermarket shelves has changed our eating habits. Fresh salads, herbs and vegetables jostle for space with many local and exotic ingredients. Dishes that appear on our family tables and when we entertain friends have changed over the past few years. However, all these many new and improved ingredients and the opportunities to become creative in the kitchen can be as intimidating as they exciting.
In his new book, Occasions, Francois Ferreira succeeds in taking out the threat of this new approach to cooking and eating. He takes us from where we came from and what we are familiar with and puts those in perspective in the changed environment that we now live in. Musselbobotie replaces the traditional minced meat version that we know so well. Meat and fish become the scrumptious culinary partners of fruit. Steamed waterblommetjies are served with Bearnaise sauce. Middle-Eastern or Asian flavour profiles now set the tone for the ever-popular potato salad or vegetable dishes. Kudu cooked in beer and chocolate or boerewors soup does sound very foreign, but really is not. Yes, typically South African dishes have come a long way, but there are endless new possibilities and combinations still to explore.
Francois goes on to address our valid health and diet concerns, as well as our lifestyle demands for quick and easy entertaining. The salad, once an afterthought, now becomes the focal point of delicious and healthy meals. Even the meat eaters amongst us will enjoy the vegetarian dishes in Occasions. The desserts as presented are no longer drenched in sugar, syrup or cream. Instead they are fresh, fruity, full of flavour and deliciously spiced with cassia, cardamom, ginger and liqueur.
The first section of Occasions provides a précis of event planning, food and wine combinations, guidelines for menu planning and the basics of food and beverage service. You can hardly go wrong or suffer a failure when you’re following Francois’s suggestions or preparing one or more of the beautifully styled dishes.
A special word of praise should go to photographers Berna Coetzee and Kelvin Saunders and to Sonja Jordt for the styling. Each photo captures the mood and essence of the dish and suggests an inspirational ambience.
Occasions will make both the novice and the expert cook and entertainer take note of the delicious possibilities revealed. The reader can adapt or adore all the dishes. They can be adopted as the cook's own “new traditional” way of cooking. At the same time the book will assist every hostess to become more confident in the kitchen.
True to Francois’s entertaining persona, Occasions provides a benchmark on how to celebrate just about every meal as a special occasion. In this exciting time in the food industry, Francois is a respected food artist, trendsetter and culinary professional. He is known for his unconventional approach to the traditional. There is a growing interest in food and an increasing preference for value-added dining-in, not only in South Africa, but throughout the world. This growing interest in the food industry has created a demand for more Occasions.
- Susina Jooste is the co-owner and director of Academic Development of the Stellenbosch Private Hotel School and can be contacted at 021 881 3792 for more information about professional qualifications in culinary arts and hospitality management. See www.privatehotelschool.co.za for more information.
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