Chef Jade de Waal
Jade de Waal is taking the country by storm, bringing people together through “Food Jams”; where she can be seen daily creating culinary magic. Food Jams is an initiative by Jade, which is a social celebration of the love of food. Jade first won the hearts of South Africans with her quirky food and bubbling personality in the first season of MasterChef SA. She has cooked her way into the hearts of food lovers. The first thing that stands out when you meet Jade, is her contagious passion for cooking. Spekko sat down with Jade, here’s what followed:
Spekko: What is your favourite local ingredient?
SP: What would you cook when the days are dark and everybody needs a lifting of the spirits?
JW: Like a local getafix – grilled fish with lots of spices like turmeric, ginger, mint, garam masala, and kale, spinach, onions. These ingredients are like potions from the druid himself.
SP: What is your family’s favourite everyday food?
JW: GATSBYS! Cape Tonians know how to feed a whole family in one sandwich, if you’ve eaten one, you know. Now our challenge is to make it healthy… spinach bread from Espinaca Innovations in Khayalitsha and local root vegetables & leafy greens for the filling, ostrich sausage…
SP: What would you eat in Paris – if budget was not an issue? (That is Paris, France)?
JW: Right now I’m keen to eat in Brazil & Argentina… but Paris makes a great I mean “magnifique” croissant.
SP: What is Your favourite recipe from your cookbook FOOD JAMS?
JW: My friend Yang’s Chinese dumplings – they are like a party in your mouth!
SP: Chefs you admire: local?…….International…..? Why?
JW: Since ex-chef & food presenter Anthony Bourdain exposed the underbelly & showdown of chefs during the 80’s and 90’s, chefs have shot to rockstardom.
And seriously, ALL CHEFS REPRESENT the food system – from start (agriculture) to finish (consumption), therefore ALL CHEFS REPRESENT local & sustainable production & farming. Look at Alex Atala – chef of DOM in Brazil, he’s championing the wild foods of the Amazonas. Locally the rock stars are many – Kobus @ Wolfgat, Jess @ de Meye, Rudi @ Planet, the list goes on…
SP: What is your Favourite restaurant?
JW: Right now? Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen
SP: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you have your dream job, or is there more?
JW: It’s happening right now!! Food Jamming! to all the towns & schools on our continent.
SP: Do you grow your own veggies?
JW: My dad has green fingers and grows a jungle of herbs, leafy greens & tomatoes, and I’m also inspired by Tania Jacobs, did you know she is a seed banker? Protecting & nurturing local heirloom seeds in Cape Town? She’s also a mermaid.
SP: What is your favourite food blogger?
JW: Anel from Life is a Zoo Biscuit – her photos & recipes come to life in front of you when you read her blog.
SP: What is your greatest achievement?
JW: It is an ongoing process, every day is an opportunity to be challenged and grow.
SP: If not cooking, what are your “hobbies”?
Music, our band of four is going on tour this month to each of the major cities, music also informed Food Jams, which is based on how I learned music from my teachers.
SP: What is your favourite author – fiction?
JW: I’m reading a lot of comics at the moment – there are so many local comic artists – and a chance to meet them at the Open Book Festival this month.
SP: What is your favourite author cookbook?
JW: Sonia Cabano.
SP: Your pet hate in the SA foodie business?
JW: Not a biggie – CHEFS, TAKE OFF YOUR JACKETS & APRONS WHEN YOU LEAVE THE KITCHEN, IT AIN’T HEALTHY (OR COOL) TO WEAR IT ON THE STREETS, IN THE SHOPS, ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Do doctors wear their lab coats outside the lab? Hayikona.
SP: What is the most underrated ingredient in local cuisine?
JW: Wild foods, num nums, samphire, wild asparagus, wild garlic, suurvytjies, you guys have to meet Zayaan Khan, one of the slow food coordinators for our country, don’t say I didn’t warn you… 🙂