Hello good people
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of Attending the first ever Eat Out Conference hosted by Eat Out, DStv and Food Network.
Their is so much to say, I don’t know How I will be fitting it all into one post. But without further Ado, let’s get to the point.
The day kicked off with an informative talk by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. He spoke about what inspires him, and how he comes up with his unique ideas, we were lucky to get a few secrets out of him as well. When answering the question to what inspires him, he answered simply by saying: Everyday; the seasons that past & transcend are what drives his thoughts. With this inspiration, he portrays it into his dishes by using elements such as sea, and earth. By visualizing the dish he can create his master piece. He emphasizes on working backwards, ‘’When I think of a dish, I visualise it as a whole. I can taste it, see it, and understand it. And I work backwards from there.” He says.
Chef Luke also presented attendees with a few very well produced videos, the first showing ” A Day Spent in the Test Kitchen” and a few more with very interesting methods on how he, and his team creates their spectacular dishes. The presentation also focuses on he uses one main ingredient, in various forms. It was fascinating as it showed how one can create spectacular dishes, and bring about different flavours, hues, and textures using a simple ingredient.
Next was a very visual presentation by Photographer Dominic Davies and Chef/Graphic Designer Andrew Stellitano. Dominic Davies, who started off with no interest in food, has now become a renowned food photographer and has worked with Chef Heston Blumenthal in creating, very interesting and unique works of Food Art
Chef Andrew, who started his career in graphic design now collaborates his design talent with food. He truly has a unique way in presenting foods; as he often uses a laser to cut out shapes and designs. He has also tried screen printing on Phyllo pastry, but says it was rather difficult. He is well-known for using squid ink to print sonnets on pasta, building landscapes with pancakes and for creating the world’s most expensive mince-pie.
We were later honoured to listen to Chef Margot Janse’s speach ”An International Perspective on SA Restaurants’’. She emphasises on making food that is honest, and while she says that sounds like a cliche, she adds on: ‘’Ingredients that are honest to South Africa; the best you can find. It is about sharing the heritage of your food with your guests.’’ She puts it simply: I don’t need food to be available all year round; I want it to be real and honest. Chef Margot Janse, with her moving speech left a few guests in tears; we could all say we are proud to be South African. An attendee compliments Margot with a simple quote: ‘’I came to hear about food, and I was inspired to be South African.’’
Culinary Consultant, Hetta van Deventer-Terblanche was next, and yet again added an inspiring perspective on the history of South African food. Hetta reminded us of the history behind various South African dishes and ingredients, and how they have influenced the foods we eat today.
After a wonderful lunch, we had the pleasure of listening to award-winning chef, Massimo Bottura. He had very interesting views on preparing foods. He believed in utilising modern technology and techniques, while still withholding the essence of nature, and culture.
After A short break, Abigail Donnelly editor of Eat Out and Taste magazine led a very enlightening panel discussion. The Panel consisted of Chef Reuben Riffel, Chef-patron Girogio Nava, Restaurateur Steve Maresch, and Senior V.P of content and marketing for Food Network EMEA, Nick Thorogood.The panel discussion involved various aspects and issues that arise in the food Industry.
After the panel discussion, a few attendees were lucky enough to be awarded a few prizes from Le Creuset and Boschendal, both sponsors of the event. It would have been great to win, but all attendees were given a goody bag filled with loads of cool products from the sponsors. In the bag were Mystery Vouchers from Yuppiechef, I can happily tell you I won something with all of my 3 Vouchers 🙂 I have placed in my order, and they will be arriving shortly. (And Yes, I will be boasting about them when I receive my gifts.)
This year has been the first in which the Eat Out Conference was hosted, and it proved to be a great success. Special guest speakers and attendees alike were both left inspired, enlightened and educated, with immense expectations of what’s to come next year. I’ve added a few images below, for fun (And to brag)… Hope you enjoyed today’s post.
Until next time, Many Pleasure to all…