It is always such a privilege for me to be invited to attend the student graduation at the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine. Jackie Cameron puts her all into making sure her students graduate with all the necessary skills required to work as a chef. She also supports and uses local produce made in the Midlands and the market style luncheon after the graduation is a foodie’s delight.
The graduation ceremony opened with a welcome by Jackie Cameron and she had a few life insights to share with her students. Insights such as : Respect is earned, Put your head down and work, Never follow the money, Stay true to yourself, Always be learning, Life is too short to be unhappy so you need to do what makes you happy.
The guest speaker this year was Margot Janse who was formerly the Executive Chef of The Tasting Room at the Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek. Margot Janse now runs her own charity Isabelo which feeds primary school children in Franschhoek.
Margot was 20 when she came from Holland and South Africa was a great culture shock. She thought that she would be an actress before the cooking bug bit. Margot said “I was given a lucky break, there was a chance to take it or leave it and I took it.” A few things she shared with the graduating students were : We are so lucky now to have Google with it’s 1000’s upon 1000’s of recipes at our fingertips, Being uncomfortable is truely good for you because that is when you learn what you are capable of, We need to celebrate our South African food.
The graduating students were : Angelo Richard, Anele Tembe, Clifford Thwala, Courtney Stuart, Heather-Lee Holliday, Michelle Engelbrecht, Nkululeko Mlotshwa, Sarah Farrington and Zandy Armstrong.
Champagne Valley Best Baker : Nkululeko Mlotshwa
Top Patisserie Chef : Sarah Farrington (Courtney Stuart was only 1% behind)
Waterford Wines Award : Tie between Michelle Engelbrecht and Heather-Lee Holliday
Elba top Practical Student : Sarah Farrington
Top Cake Icer : Sarah Farrington
The Hygiene and Management Award : Zandy Armstrong
Ardmore High Tea Award : Michelle Engelbrecht
The Culinary Student of the Year : Tie between Michelle Engelbrecht and Sarah Farrington
Highly Commended for Culinary Student of the Year : Zandy Armstrong
Well done to the new Chef’s and enjoy your many years of providing culinary delights to happy diners.
The market style luncheon was provided by the following local producers : Blue Orange Farm, Gourmet Greek, Esposito Kamberg Ham, Romesco Olives, Verve KZN, Wayfarer Trout, Terbodore Coffee, Champagne Valley Stonemill, La Petite France, SAgra Foods, Meander Fine Wines.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine, take a look at their website.