To my dear Culinary Friends
Did you know that I developed some fabulous recipes for the ShelfSquad
Hey folks, welcome back to another exciting interview in our ‘The Chef Behind The Cookbox’ series. Today, we have a rendezvous with Antoinette’s Cookery School, she is an amazing chef whose food will blow your mind, well actually just your taste buds. She has also built a successful business based on her passion for cooking. She is one of our amazing recipe developers responsible for creating amazing Balanced Family dishes for our Cookbox meal kits. This is none other than Antoinette from Antoinette’s Cookery School.
Tell us more about yourself, where are you from?
Well, I think like most other Pretoria citizens, I came from far to study here and then I eventually ended up staying here permanently. But we are actually from Heidelberg, which isn’t really that far from here. I studied here at the University of Pretoria specializing in Hotel and Tourism Management.
When did your passion for cooking start?
From a very young age. I think if you have a passion for cooking then it doesn’t just happen overnight. My first experience in the kitchen was when my grandparents came for a visit and I managed to cook my first cake on my own. I was 6 at the time and it was a vanilla cake.
Vegan, Vegetarian, or Meat Eater?
Name it and we eat it hahaha. No, there is no limit to what I eat and here at the Cooking School we also teach people how to cook dishes ranging from Keto to Vegetarian dishes.
What was the first dish that you learned to cook?
The first dish that I learned to prepare was ‘frikkadelle’ or also known as meatballs. We had a help at home and her name was Betty, and on that day I helped her to make these meatballs with oats. I was about 7 at this time.
What is your favourite winter dish to cook and prepare?
My favourite winter dish is curry! I love lamb curry with a lovely mixture of spices and basmati rice. You have to eat it with Roti so that the sauce comes dripping from your mouth to truly enjoy the meal.
Who or what inspires you?
I think food inspires me because it is always nice to see something like a piece of steak or some fresh produce, and then imagining what you can make from those ingredients. The idea of creating something remarkable from a variety of ingredients really excites me.
Tell us more about yourself, what are your hobbies and interests?
I have quite a lot of hobbies. So obviously food takes over my life and I really enjoy creating new recipes, but I also have a love for antiques. I love refurbishing things and painting objects, I can spend hours in antique shops. I also like spending time at nurseries.
What is your favourite summer dish to cook and prepare?
I am an ice cream fan! We are so serious about ice cream that in the summer we even believe that you can have ice cream for breakfast, it is after all cream, eggs and milk, so why not? A lovely vanilla soft serve ice cream with a delicious sauce is just splendid, and its like a staple food in our household.
What was the biggest flop that you made while preparing a meal in the kitchen?
In our kitchen, we don’t have flops. We have a kitchen fairy in our kitchen that blesses us so we don’t have flops hahaha. A few years ago, Mal Jan from Jacaranda FM phoned me because he wanted me to bake a Christmas cake, consisting of the strangest ingredients, and I thought to myself what on earth am I going to do with all these weird ingredients to bake a Christmas cake. But to cut the story short, the cake ended up tasting great.
Tell us more about your business, Antoinettes Cookery School? Who is your audience? What type of classes can people expect?
We started back in 2004, we originally began with a restaurant and the cooking school. But in 2007, we decided to solely focus on the cooking school. So, we’ve been in the industry for quite a time now. We are in a very privileged position because we get to live out our passion and we get to meet the most interesting and amazing people.
At Antoinette’s Cookery School, we have a variety of classes available, from Italian, Japanese, Greek and Mexican. We have a great 8 week course which is every Thursday for about 4 hours. We teach people how to properly use a chef’s knife, how to debone a chicken, how to cook desserts, and much more. There is also a follow up course called Kitchen Skills Extreme where we do a lot of fun things like making gels and we create beautiful dishes.
What is your favourite ingredient that you love using in your cooking? Why is this your favourite?
I love using fresh herbs in my food because I feel that you can use herbs to really invigorate a dish. I particularly like parsley.
What inspires you to get up in the morning?
Coffee, strong coffee helps me to get up in the morning. And then also my two princesses here at home give me strength for the day.
If had to choose to be an ingredient, what would it be and why?
A chilli-I want to be hot hahaha. No just kidding,
Now its your turn take a moment and order your COOKBOX