IT'S A CHEF'S LIFE WITH JACKIE CAMERON
Col'Cacchio Celebrity Chef Series
The Mercury - Food and Wine
Jackie Cameron, pictured above, head chef at Hartford House in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, has designed a signature pizza as part of the Col'Cacchio Celebrity Chef Series 2012. It's on the menu at Col'Cacchio until the end of May and proceeds go to the Children's Hospital Trust.
Well, this is difficult, as I have so many different foodie fields that make up my complete obsession for all things food. I would probably say being the head chef at Hartford at the age of 20, as this has allowed me to grow and strive for everything else that I have accomplished over the past nine years.
Many years back I judged, after making this chocolate mousse cake, the recipe for which I still use today, incorrectly what was and wasn't humanly possible and let us just say the wedding cake was a complete disaster... literally a flop! This still haunts me and since then I have become even more pedantic on the finer details than ever before.
Ever garnish with curly parsley, or garnish the side rims of your plates with chopped, mixed herbs or some sort of masala. A no no!
Be on time, be honest, be true to what you are cooking.
I love cooking with:
This depends on my mood... loads of fresh herbs, tomatoes and cheese. And give me fresh fish over anything, any day!
Never trust a skinny chef... jokes, keep things simple, always highlighting the main ingredient. Never overcomplicate.
I have so many for different reasons. Locally probably Le Quatier Francais as I am amazed by Margot and her team. They strive for perfection in every sense. Internationally, I was blown away by El Bulli and their unbelievable, detailed service - they researched every guest who entered their restaurant - mind blowing! Obviously together with Ferran Adria's amazing food combinations.
Bubbles through and through! Love the texture on my tongue and the flavour in my mouth.
My favourite comfort food is:
A big bowl of homemade soup with lots of homemade white bread and lashings of butter. Takes me back to winter school holidays when I use to spend most of my holidays at my grandparents' house. Memories of warmth and full days of cooking, where my obsession for food was rooted.
My dream meal - what, where and with whom:
My dream meal would be not eating and enjoying, but cooking for Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela and Georges Auguste Escoffier... Thomas Kellar, Ferran Adria - and why not include Brad Pitt and George Clooney, together with friends and family I can continue with my list...
On Summerhill Stud Farm in the Midlands on a beautiful summer's afternoon in one of the paddocks, surrounded by all the nation's best horses. Sitting on hay bales and serving the finest local produce in a relaxed environment, lots of bubbles and an aflernoon-evening filled with extremely interesting conversation.
If I wasn't a chef, I would love to be:
For a few months I tossed with the idea of being a pilot. l am clearly a sucker for punishment - both having crazy work hours. But, to be honest, I wouldn't change the industry I am in for any other.
Extract from The Mercury - Food and Wine