Cooking with 7de Laan stars Jacques and Themsi

Well Durban Diva is back to being decidedly less diva-ish than my job MCing at the GFWS called for over the weekend. I had such fun and learnt so much from all the fabulously talented local chefs that joined me onstage at the Master of the Tongs Theatre.

Things I discovered:

1. Cooking is not actually that difficult. It’s all in the prep. If you take some time to think things through and plan your meals you can create something delicious and simple. I will be putting up some of the recipes our chefs demonstrated over the weekend so watch this space.

All ready to cook

2. Tasha’s  Fantastic Fudge (aka in my family as the world’s best fudge aside from my mom’s and she agrees that it is easier to buy Tasha’s than slave over the hot stove) has a shop on the Midlands Meander! I will certainly be stopping in there to stock up on my next trip. See here for more.

3. Ballito has some wonderful restaurants that are well worth driving slightly further to visit. Fabulous Flavours  and Tin Roof are top of my list for the festive season. Both are open for lunch so popping in is not going to involve a drive home in the dark. I will be visiting both soon and will let you know all about it on DD! In the meantime, you can find Fabulous Flavours at The Well, Albertina Way, Ballito (Tel: 032 946 1527) and Tin Roof at The Farm Gate, Compensation Road (Tel: 032 947 2548).

One of Tin Roof's beautifully presented meals

4. You know prawns are cooked when you see their tails curl up.

5. Neil Roake of The Space and Freedom Cafe fame has a new cookbook out just in time for Christmas! It is called Taste Freedom and is available at Exclusive Books and at The Space. Published by Jacana Media.

6. Presentation of food is as important as what the food tastes like – and it’s not difficult! All you have to do is use colour, arrange things carefully on the plate and pile things up in creative ways to make dishes look appetising.

7. Local designer Terrence Bray is one of the nicest, funniest, most accommodating guys around! More on him in a future post – he has some very exciting ventures on the go. Terrence was the judge of the Capsicum vs Christina Martin cook off.

Having fun on stage with Terrence Bray

7. Jenny Morris (The Giggling Gourmet) is an absolute hoot! She has such wonderful stories from her cooking adventures all over the world and now conducts culinary tours to places such as China, India and Thailand.  

Cooking with Jenny Morris and Pixie Bennet

8. Pixie Bennet is a fabulous cook as well as being a very talented musician. She is also a really lovely, fun person and has incredible stage prescence which shines through whether she’s singing or sauteeing!

9. Despite the fact that they are big TV stars, Jaques Blignaut and Themsi Times are really down to earth people. They were delighted to be joining us on stage and really good sports when we had a bit of microphone trouble.

10. MCing is hard work but lots of fun! I got to meet so many wonderful people and picked up some great cooking tips. I’m available if anyone wants me to do it again!