Steve and I had the chance to travel to South Africa at the invitation of a wonderful boutique spa hotel in greater Johannesburg in the town of Sandton. For me, it was a trip filled with all sorts of conflicting emotions — I had come of age in Côte d’Ivoire during the time of apartheid and South Africa was treated as a pariah state by the rest of Africa. To see this country firsthand had long been a dream of mine.
There were many highlights of our trip but one of the most memorable took place in the kitchen of course. I had the chance to prepare an impromptu dinner for the owners and their guests and used the opportunity to teach a master class of sorts for their in-house culinary staff — a terrific group of young chefs, eager to learn, full of questions and attentive to details.
No matter where I’ve traveled, I always enjoy the chance to roll up my sleeves and set about the happy enterprise of a preparing a meal. Much like a cooking show challenge, we did not have time to provision or plan the meal. I had about 3 hours to see what was in the kitchen and get to work!