A feast of flavours at Decorex Joburg’s gourmet cooking theatre @decorexSA

Some of the best local cooking talent will get things steaming at this year’s Decorex Joburg – co-sponsored by Plascon and Caesarstone – as they take to the Gourmet Cooking Theatre. A popular feature on the Decorex Joburg programme, top chefs and food experts will demonstrate a range of quality snacks, meals and treats on the latest kitchen appliances at this installation, sponsored by Hirsch’s and Whirlpool, taking place at the Gallagher Convention Centre from 9 to 13 August.

Taking time out of her schedule to participate in this must-see feature is the multi-talented food entertainer, entrepreneur and blogger, Claire Allen, the Foodie in Love.

“I’m so excited to be part of the Joburg line-up and am looking forward to sharing some exciting new recipes with the audience,” said Claire, who will be preparing an impressive menu of savoury bread pudding, mature cheddar cheese scones and a spicy tomato jam. “While zoodles – zucchini noodles – were a big hit last year, we are now seeing a massive increase in alternative pastas and I’m working on a new recipe that will hopefully be ready for the show!”

Visitors can expect a fun Q&A session with Claire who will share some of her handy kitchen tricks such as how to chop an onion, reducing food waste and turning one roast chicken into four dishes.

Demonstrating her talent for creating incredible dishes will be Nthabiseng Nti Ramaboa, affectionately known as ‘Chef Nti’. Starting her food blog in 2014 ‘P.S I Cooked This’, this fashion designer, blogger, producer, master of ceremonies and gourmet chef has quickly become a household name, sharing her incredible passion for food. She is instantly recognisable as a host on eTV’s ‘The Perfect Ace’ and has a number of ongoing projects including designing a range of men’s and women’s aprons.

For this year’s Gourmet Cooking Theatre, Chef Nti will be preparing a tasty fusion of Mediterranean food while delicately referring to her South African heritage in the Shimeji mushroom maize rice risotto meal.

She will be cooking this meal alongside Margaret Hirsch who also has some delectable recipes to share.

“I will be making a chocolate mousse with marshmallows which is easily made in the Whirlpool Jet Chef, a great little microwave and convection oven,” said Margaret, an award-winning businesswomen and Chief Operations Executive of Hirsch’s. “I have also planned some different treats, such as ginger beer, and also old favourites like fudge in the microwave which is definitely a crowd favourite.”

With real understanding of the best kitchen appliances on the market, Margaret will share useful tips and practical advice with the audience. She will also showcase the new range of sugar free chocolates and sweets stocked by Ajita Ratanjee of Easy Health Wellness.

Displaying its commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle and a passion for good food in families, Little Cooks Club will also form a valuable addition to the Gourmet Cooking Theatre line-up. Christine Phillips, Founder of Little Cooks Club and Health Chef on Real Health on DSTV, has something special planned for her exciting demonstration.

“At Little Cooks Club, we understand how rushed families are in the mornings,” explained Christine. “So, to save families time, we have some interesting new ideas for breakfast and lunch-on-the-run that children can help parents prepare in advance. Best of all, they are healthy and nutritious for growing minds and bodies. We will also be showing how to introduce a small garden at home and how to use your own produce in meals to make them extra special and tasty.”

Christine said that there is definitely a turn towards getting healthy and fit and eating the right food is a big part of this. “We have come up with some delicious salad and breakfast jars that will be the talk of the playground. No more plain, old sandwiches!”

She will also be sharing advice for parents on seasonal eating, the importance of buying local and using local ingredients in food preparation.

A focus on fresh ingredients and good eating continues at the demonstration by ‘Delish Sisters’ Rebecca and Kate Lund. Originating as a small market stall, this bespoke catering company and quirky café quickly gained reputation for its quality produce and wholesome, home-style food. Inspired by their mother’s passion for cooking, the sisters quickly developed an appetite for all things culinary.

“We are constantly reading food magazines, scrolling through food-related Instagram accounts and we have an obscene collection of cook books!” Rebecca admitted.

“We love experimenting and trying new things, keeping things interesting and exciting in the kitchen for us, and the people that are eating our food,” continued Kate.

With big dreams of growing the business to include a small retail space full of healthy, hearty ‘on-the-go’ food, a recipe book and, hopefully, one day a TV show, these girls are loving every second of feeding and inspiring people with great food.

The two will demonstrate an enticing gluten-free, herby sweet potato gnocchi and healthy salted caramel chocolate truffles in the Nutri Bullet Blender and Le Creuset pots, dishes which they describe as ‘crowd pleasers at any dinner party’ with the added bonus of being both gluten and refined sugar free.

Warm brews will be on the menu as Mingwei Tsai of Nigiro Tea demonstrates some fascinating ways to make tea using glass teapots, shows how to brew coffee with alternative methods and outlines the incredible journey of tea from Asia to Africa.

Tsai will also expand on the concept of food and tea pairing globally, as well as creating the best flavour for the individual. “At different times and, for different people, there ought to be different teas infused specifically. People around the world want to have more control over their tea infusions, as well as the brewing of their coffee, which is all a personal expression.”

Leaders in the mobile beverage industry, Thirst for Life, will feature some of their exciting libation-making presentations with representatives showing the simple steps needed to create tantalising drinks.

“With gin being a massive movement at the moment in the drinks’ world, we will present a few different G&T combinations, as well as some other classics with a premium twist, easily prepared in the comfort of your home,” explained Thirst for Life general manager, Riaan Bezuidenhoudt. “We will also show the audience how to keep it simple and use only the freshest ingredients.”

Keeping things cool will be representatives from Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream (N2ice Cream) demonstrating some fascinating recipes using their additive-free, preservative-free and emulsifier-free ice-cream. This decadent treat, which is blended and frozen within 60 seconds using a blast of liquid nitrogen at an incredibly low -196 degrees, uses only fresh ingredients and is ideal for those on a low-carb or low-sugar diet.

All these delectable meals will all be created in a trendy kitchen installation with classy countertops sponsored by Caesarstone and the beautiful sink and tap installations sponsored by Franke SA. Check out this sizzling feature at this year’s Decorex Joburg, taking place at the Gallagher Convention Centre from 9 to 13 August. Tickets are sold through www.ticketpros.co.za and at the door.

Visit: www.decorex.co.za.

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