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It’s all about fabulous, fierce females this Woman’s Day at Camps Bay Retreat. 

To celebrate Woman’s Day on the 9th of August, Camps Bay Retreat will host an exceptional, three-plate lunch prepared by our fantastic group of women chefs. 

This Woman’s Day Takeover lunch will consist of three different dishes, with each dish created and cooked by one of our three spectacular lady chefs. 

In anticipation of the Woman’s Day Takeover lunch, we recently caught up with these three lovely ladies to get to know them and their style of cooking a little better – and believe you me, you’re in for a treat! 

Andiswa, Cindy and Lee-Ann have all been working as Sous Chefs for Village n Life for a couple of months. Lee-Ann has been with the company for 9 months, while Andsiwa and Cindy have been with Village n Life for 7 months. We asked them a few questions about their careers, their favourite foods and what they’re most excited about for the Woman’s Dat Takeover lunch. 

The Woman’s Day Takeover lunch is a specially curated, 3-plate meal. What will you be making for this lunch? 

Andiswa: I’ll be making the dessert, a yoghurt panna cotta with berry compote.

Cindy: I’ll be in charge of the main, which is a beautifully cured duck breast with steamed veg and herbed baby potatoes.

Lee-Ann: I’m making the starter, which is a fresh, Norwegian salmon papadum stack topped with garlic prawns and a homemade dill cream cheese. 

What do you love about cooking? 

A: For me, it’s a form of stress relief. I find that when I’m in the kitchen and cooking, it helps me to relax and I can get lost in my thoughts. 

C: I love to explore different avenues of cooking and to play around with food and ingredients and see what I can come up with. I like being able to be creative when I’m cooking. I also find that cooking is a wonderful form of stress relief for me and it definitely helps me to relax. 

L: What I really like about cooking, is the fact that it teaches you to work in a team. It makes you aware of relying on others, and is a wonderful place to inspire and draw inspiration from others. 

What are you most excited about the dish you created for the Woman’s Day Takeover lunch? 

A: Panna cotta is generally seen as a simple dessert, so I am excited to showcase how I elevated a simple dessert. With the addition of the fresh berry compote, it adds a different element to your traditional panna cotta. 

C: There is a special trick to my curated and seared duck breast. While most people would quickly cure the duck, then sear it and cook it long in the oven, my duck breast is a little different. I cure the duck breast for a day, and would then spice it the following day. I then sear it without any oil in a very hot pan skin side down to give it a little colour, and then only put it in the oven. I’m going to serve it with steamed vegetables, herbed baby potatoes and a creamy pink peppercorn sauce. The duck breast will be made to order, so guests can choose at which temperature they want their duck breast. 

L: What caught my attention with my dish, is that you never really see a salmon, papadum stack. It was an exciting challenge for me to put it all together and see how it would work. My papadum stack will feature fresh Norwegian salmon, thinly sliced like sashimi. The stack will then be topped with creamy garlic prawns, in a chili lime sauce. The dish will also feature dill cream cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette. It’s something I’m trying for the first time, so it definitely is exciting! 

What is one of your favourite ingredients to work with? 

A: Definitely herbs! Any kind of herb, fresh or dried. It’s the ultimate way to flavour your dishes. 

C: Herbs, herbs, herbs! 

What is it like being a woman chef in this industry and especially in the current climate? 

A: For me, being a woman chef means that I get to show off my professional skills at home. When we have family gatherings, and it is expected that the women bind together to make food, I can show off to my friends and family and prove that I have the skills to pursue this career I have chosen. 

C: For me, it means that I am more than a mother or caregiver, and that I can hold my own against male chefs in the kitchen. Back in the day, this industry was completely dominated by male chefs, so it’s a challenge to myself and my peers to further my career as a woman chef. I’m not just a mother raising kids, I can express myself creatively, explore my skills and experience different things in my profession. It’s a great way to stand up to the patriarchy. 

Andiswa and Cindy then both mention that local, female celebrity chef, Siba Mtongana and domestic worker turned Masterchef alum and celebrity chef, Siphokazi Mdalnkomo are both inspirations to them. And we couldn’t agree more! 

Who are your chef idols? 

A: Definitely Mr. Gordon Ramsay!

C: Gordon Ramsay. I even had the pleasure of working with him when I was working at the One&Only in Cape Town, and he was a wonderful teacher and a great presence to be around. Another local idol of mine is Reuben Riffel. 

L: Jamie Oliver hands down! I love his style of cooking – he does his own thing and doesn’t necessarily follow a strict recipe. He makes cooking look effortless and follows his instinct. I also love the rustic element to his cooking style. 

What do the three of you like about working together? 

C: Andiswa knows my weak point… dessert! And that is her favourite thing to cook, so we balance each other out. Lee-Ann is very helpful. She always makes sure I’m alright, and gives me guidance when I need it. 

L: Andiswa truly is like my right hand in the kitchen. It’s always nice to work with fellow chefs that understand you and are helpful where they can be. 

If you had one last meal on Earth, what would it be? 

A: Crayfish for sure!

C: I would definitely say sushi for me!

L: For me it would have to be homemade butter chicken curry with homemade rottis. Everything would have to be homemade!

Don;t miss out on this incredible Woman’s Day feast! Book your table today by calling (021) 437 9705 or sending us an email at direct@campsbayretreat.com.

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