Earlier this year we met Chef Gerhard, events coordinator and chef for Miele SA, at a Cosmetics Chef event. We quickly hit it off and he agreed to become a regular Equilibrio contributor. One of the recipes he’s shared with us is the most marvelous gluten-free chocolate cake on salted caramel recipe. It’s still one of our most popular Sinful Sunday recipes. He then also shared my favourite coffee time treat, these super simple icing-free, raspberry vanilla cupcakes.
We caught up with Gerhard recently to chat about what has inspired his passion for food and entertainment, and to learn more about his latest food venture called Food Ink.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CHEF GERHARD
Gerhard grew up being exposed to the hospitality industry and food. “My mom used to be very involved in hotels and catering so I was surrounded by chefs and foodies since a very young age. I was always very interested in cooking and how food changes when adding moisture, heat or cold.”
Chef Gerhard is thoroughly self-taught proving that you can do anything if you’re passionate and put your mind to it, even if you don’t have the financial resources. Initially studying tourism management, Gerhard found himself following his mother’s path into the hospitality industry to pay-off student loans. During this time, he immersed himself in the kitchen. “I worked double shifts to train in the kitchen, learn about food and all the tricks of the trade to one day be able to share all this with guests.” At the same time, he attended various food courses, picking up more valuable skills along the way. “Whenever there was an opportunity to learn, I did it.”
It’s clear that Chef Gerhard is passionate about food and entertaining with food, which he says “is always a celebration”. “I love how you can take anything, connect food to it and turn it into an event.” He’s now sharing this passion, through his new business Food Ink.
A clean agenda
We love that Chef Gerhard spends time creating recipes that are packed with healthy, nutritious ingredients, while also considering the impact on the environment. “People are really making an effort to drive clean eating in every way. Not just clean eating in the sense of what we fuel our bodies with, but also the after effect of packaging and waste.” This consciousness, is a cornerstone of the Food Ink business.
Food Ink is not a conventional catering business. Chef Gerhard likes to think of it as more of a “private dining and pop-up experienced based company.”
It is a mobile service, with a small team that is able to host events in various venues. They also offer cooking classes and will source venues for you which have the necessary cooking facilities. Their focus and first love however, is a private dining experience “in the comfort of your own home.”
“Of late my own home has become a favourite spot for friends to get together and enjoy a Chef`s table experience. I have a 6-seater dining room table in my Northcliff apartment and I cook a 3-course meal with a wine pairing. Fun.”
They even take their service on the road, visiting small towns around Johannesburg where they have hosted pop up evenings as well as cooking classes.
Give them a call and find out more about what they can do for you. They will design an experience to meet your budget and dietary needs.
Drop an email to [email protected] to get in touch with Chef Gerhard and his team. You can also follow his never dull cooking journey on Instagram: @gerhard_koekemoer.
BONUS: A HEALTHY PUMPKIN & GINGER SOUP RECIPE
We asked Chef Gerhard to share a super quick, super healthy soup recipe with us. This hearty pumpkin soup with coconut milk is packed with healthy ginger, can be made in an hour and is super tasty.
Pumpkin and ginger soup ingredients (serves 4)
1kg pumpkin – peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
2 white onions – peeled and chopped
75g fresh ginger – peeled and finely grated
1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
1 liter organic vegetable stock
125ml coconut milk
Himalayan salt and pepper
½ tablespoon (7,5ml) chili flakes
Toasted pumpkin seeds to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pumpkin, onion and fresh ginger and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent.
Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk and chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Then blend the soup either in a food processor or using a stick blender, to create a smooth soup.
Serve with some toasted pumpkin seeds and a dash of extra coconut milk.
THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST
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