Going out to restaurants is one peoples’ favourite activities because they get the chance to taste some of the best cuisine from the chefs that work behind the scenes in their local restaurants and eateries. 

One day in particular – International Chefs Day on October 20 – is the perfect opportunity for diners to delight in and acknowledge the wonderful culinary heritage that we have in the KZN Midlands.

The region has inspired many a cookery book and is known for wholesome ingredients that include fresh seasonal vegetables, cheeses, pork and trout. These are transformed into wonderful dishes by a host of chefs. 

These gastronomic gurus include our wonderful chefs at Granny Mouse. So, on October 20, we invite you to spend some time in the beautiful countryside before stopping by for a bite to eat.

Of course, not everyone who enjoys the wonderful dishes that exit kitchens across the world knows just how extensive this form of professional artistry can be. Perhaps the best indication of the degree to which chefs can specialize is the very many titles that they enjoy.

The term chef quite literally means “the chief” in French. Every kitchen has a chef or executive chef who is responsible for the operations of the entire kitchen. However, this head of the kitchen is far more than just a person who can cook well – and the fact that every cook is a chef is fairly common misconception among those who aren’t in the know when it comes to all things culinary.

The sous chef is the second in charge. Translated, it means “the under chief” in French and indicates the person who takes responsibility for kitchen operations if the chef is absent.

The Chef de Partie keeps an eye on the various kitchen specialists which include the poissonier who cooks all fish and shellfish dishes and their related sauces, the rotisseur who is responsible for everything that is roasted, the saucier who turns out sautéed items and many different sauces, the grillardin or grill cook, the potager who cooks soups and stocks, the entremetier who handles the vegetables and the friturier or he deep fry cook.

The tournant is a cook who rotates throughout the entire kitchen and fills in where needed while the patissier is the pastry specialist. The confiseur is the candy cook and the boulanger, the bread cook. 

Of course, not every restaurant or resort has all of these and, often, the number of specialists will also be determined by the type of cuisine served as well as the size of the kitchen and restaurant. 

Granny Mouse’s recent culinary adventure started with the renaming of our chefs as culinary artists. The reasoning behind this is that every dish that finds its way on to our dining tables begins with a sketch and ends as a special creation. 

Culinary artist and sous chef, Theodasious Mannie, born in Zimbabwe, Mannie completed his schooling in England before studying at Canterbury College. His culinary career officially began in 2003 at a bar restaurant called Bar Vasa where he was an apprentice/commis chef. 

He’d worked his way up to head chef by 2010. During that same year, he moved to the Sandgate Hotel as their sous chef. He also worked as a development chef for a café called Canteen for three years, helping to develop dishes as well as creating signature sauces for mass distribution. This also branched into function and outside catering work. In 2012, he worked as a consultant to Roksalt, which was owned by Mark Seargant. 

In March 2013, he moved to South Africa where he spent two years working as a contract chef before taking on the role of head chef for a pub in Pietermaritzburg. After a brief stint as a consultant helping struggling small kitchens turn their business around, he joined Granny Mouse as a junior sous chef in 2017 and now head culinary artist. So come celebrate World Chef Day at Granny Mouse, just another excuse to enjoy world class cuisine. 

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