“Believe in your dreams for you are the only one who can make them come true” – AA Milne.

Jodi-Ann Pearton graduated from Silwood Kitchen, one of South Africa’s oldest culinary training schools in 2005, winning every major award available. She is an inspiration to people within the food industry and without. Jodi-Ann sat down with SPICE4LIFE to tell us more about what her SPICE4LIFE is and just what it is that gets her up in the morning!

 

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

Who is your inspiration when it comes to cooking? And in life?

My inspiration in life comes from the people around me. I have been very blessed by family and friends who have enriched me tremendously and taught me that through the “favour bank” anything is possible. My parents inspired me tremendously and have been a huge pillar of support, and I have incredible friends. In cookery I have the most phenomenal mentors, without whom I would not be anywhere.

What are your other passions, besides food?

Mountain biking, cycling, horse riding, reading, gardening and wine.

What is the worst thing you have had to overcome to be better at being you?

Becoming less introverted and realising all people are just human too.

Do you do the cooking at home?

Yes I do. I love cooking and I cook almost every day at home.

What is your regular comfort meal?

Braised oxtail, mashed home-grown potatoes and a huge glass of red wine.

 

ADVICE & STUFF

Favourite restaurant?

SO many, but in Johannesburg, for my favourite comfort food, Café del sol; and for my favourite fine dining place, 500 at The Saxon.

Place in the world?

Another tough question for a soul who lives to travel, but at the moment I would say Tea Trails, Sri Lanka.

Thing to do in your free time?

Ride my horse or mountain bike, otherwise spend time in my veggie bed.

Words to live by?

“Believe in your dreams for you are the only one who can make them come true” – AA Milne.

What’s your superpower / special agent / secret weapon / mojo?

I could tell you, but then I would have to scallop you.

Best celebration “like evaaaa….”

Still planning it.

Any words of advice for aspiring Chefs?

Find yourself a mentor who really cares enough to tell you the truth and do not be afraid to listen – REALLY listen – to what they have to say, even when it hurts. Take their answers and use them. When you grow up enough to understand, say thank you every day because it is these people who mould your career and make you into the person you become and turn your dreams into success.

Sharing is caring…

HONEY & SOY SEARED SALMON

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 Tbspn honey
  • 8 Tbspn soy sauce
  • 8 tspn olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest
  • 1 tspn minced chilli
  • 2 tspn minced garlic
  • 2 tspn minced ginger
  • 4 x 180g  salmon fillets
  • Fresh coriander, to garnish

METHOD:

  1. Place the honey, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, chilli, garlic and ginger into a bowl and whisk together to combine.
  2. Marinade the salmon in this mixture for 30 minutes
  3. Heat a non-stick pan and sear the salmon for 2 – 3 minutes on each side so that the centre of the fish is still pink and the outside is caramelised.
  4. Place the salmon onto a platter and drizzle with the pan juices. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Eat immediately.

Click here to be referred to Jodi-Ann’s Crown Roast Breast of Free Range Chicken recipe.

 

ON A PROFESSIONAL NOTE

When did you know you wanted to be a Chef?

When Veterinary did not work out… next question.

What do you love most about your job?

The adrenalin and, of course, the smile on people’s faces when they taste the most incredible cuisine that you have put your heart and soul into preparing.

What are your favourite food combinations?

  • Lemon zest and anything
  • Potato, cream and chive
  • Nutmeg and spinach
  • Dark chocolate and clove
  • Beef and five spice

If you had 30 minutes to cook a meal to impress, what would you cook?

I would start off by seeing who I am impressing. If I was impressing my lover, I would whip up a warm chocolate fondant oozing with a soft chocolate centre, served with a berry salad and crisp biscuit tuiles to dip into the centre. However, if I was trying to impress a colleague I would serve something a little more formal such as a seared honey soy salmon with a pickled cucumber salad. After all, it is all about the approach!

Favourite spice to cook with?

Smoked Paprika – OF COURSE.

In your opinion, what is going to be “the next big thing” in the food world?

Self-sustainability in a big way.

 

SHOUT OUT

Who? Where? What?

To all the people who have made my dreams come true and made this all become possible – the clients, the fans, the mentors, the staff, the friends and the family. I cannot ever thank you enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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