Chef Anna Carolina Alberts
Adventurer, chef, food stytlist and food writer Anna Carolina Alberts is passionate about real food, beautiful produce and people.
This farm girl turned city slicker was almost born in a hut, still loves the bush like no other but can now also very much appreciate the rush of city life: Uber, Snapscan and weekend market strolls are some of her favourites.
After finishing chef school and an internship at the acclaimed Le Quartier Francais under the watchful eye of chef Margfot Janse and Chris Erasmus, she headed homewards to Piet Retief where she owned a successful bistro for 2 years – in this time a love for blogging and food media blossomed and Caro packed her bags once again and headed to Cape Town where she has been cooking and styling for 6 years.
She won the Galliova for Up and Coming Food Writer of the Year in 2015, has just written her own recipe book and saw the launch of her cooking, DIY and lifestyle show on Wednesday 25 October (2017). Screened on SABC 2, the show is called Koskaskenades.
Look for her name in many a popular recipe book and in food magazines – she is a regular stylist and contributor to many titles. She is especially proud of her contributions to PnP Freshj Living magazine.
Along with her apron she often dons her running shoes for long and lovely days on television sets – this year she was food stylist on Neill Anthony Private Chef (SABC 3); Siba’s Table 2 (Food Network), Fabulous Food Academy (Food Network) and Just Cooking with Justine (BBC Food).
When she isn’t dreaming about her next adventure she can be found visiting her family on the farm – still her favourite place to be.
Also include here, stories of your overseas travels and the food you liked.
What is your absolute, favourite dish in all the world?
Fresh ciabatta, tomatoes from the vine, best quality olive oil, basil and buffalo mozzarella
What local ingredient would you choose to cook up a feast?
I would choose corn because I grew up with it. Its local, nutritious and just all-round comforting.
If money is not an issue, where to would you fly right now and with whom – to eat where?
I would fly to Mauritius to meet up with my love, Ruan and eat at Le Whatever. A local restaurant where we had one of our first dates.
In a Babette’s feast hosted by you – what would be on the menu?
Fresh, stoneground bread. Olive oil. Japanese Tataki. Lots of fresh basil and lime. Followed by sticky pork belly. Beautiful salads – a variety of coleslaws. Steamed Jasmine rice with spring onion, chilli, coriander and more lime. Coconut milk panna-cotta with fresh litchis.
I just came back from the tropics so still a little enthralled by Asian-tropical flavours.
Who would you invite to this imaginary dinner?
Once again, Ruan. A host of foodie friends. Justine Drake, Neill Anthony, Sarah Graham… My producer and entire crew of my show – Minke, Alison, Caroline, Zahir, Eric, Melissa, etc… My family away from family.
When in love, what would you prepare in the kitchen with an unlimited pantry, for your beloved?
Currently I am conveniently very much in love and I would prepare him a taste of home. The food we grew up with in our traditional Afrikaans homes. Soetpatat, slow roasted lamb, golden roast potatoes, slow cooked beans, a salad of tomato and cucumber as he loves it so much. And RICE. He loves rice. Especially with soetpatat.
For aspiring wannabee food stylists and chefs, what would your best advice be?
Never, ever think you know everything. You don’t. Don’t have an attitude except one of a hunger to learn. Travel, taste, see. Be original.
What is your personal best recipe ever? The dish everyone wants you to cook for them?
Oh golly, it would have to be slow-cooked asian pork belly. I love making it and so my friends love eating it.
Do you watch television cooking programmes? If so, whom is your favourite celebrity chefs, and why?
I really enjoy watching Jamie Oliver, Lorraine Pascale and Rachel Khoo. I am privileged to work with a host of celebrity chefs in South Africa and as I am involved in making their shows. Namely Neill Anthony, Sarah Graham and Justine Drake. Their shows rock.
What is your dream job?
I HAVE MY DREAM JOB – so privileged.
What will be in your Christmas stocking from yourself?
Mmmmmm, that’s a hard one. Maybe a new knife or two. Mine need sharpening!
Where will you be 10 years from now?
Well I can’t really say can I but what I would hope is: Happily married with 2-3 littles ones, a couple more recipe books behind my name and another show or 5. Hopefully I would have invested in many lives along the way.
Recipe from the Chef
Old Fashioned Rice Pudding with Boozy Cherries
2 cups milk
2 cups cream
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Spekko Saman White Rice
Generous pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
2 – 3 tbsp butter
Double cream yoghurt
Boozy apricots or cherries
Boozy cherries or apricots
200 g dried apricots or 1 ½ cups fresh, pipped fresh cherries
½ cup sugar
½ cup boiling water
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup rum
- First make the boozy cherries or apricots: In a glass bowl, cover the fruit with the sugar, boiling water, cinnamon and rum. Cover and stand overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 160 °C and butter and oven to table dish.
- Mix the milk, cream, sugar, Spekko rice, salt and vanilla. Pour into the dish. Dot with the butter and bake for 2 hours.
- Serve topped with the boozy fruit, honeycomb, basil and yoghurt.