Since placing second on the M-Net reality TV show, Masterchef SA, in 2012, Capetonian Sue-Ann Allen has been riding the waves of being in the spotlight.
Whether it's appearing on TV, doing cooking demonstrations with LeCreuset in their stores, or cooking and preparing at events for private clients, Sue-Ann's love for cooking in the kitchen has grown from a hobby to a full-time career. She even found the time to co-write a cook book, The Gourmet Sisters, with fellow Masterchef SA alumni Ilse Fourie, last year which has been a hit in all book stores around South Africa.
How did the decision come about to start Sue-Ann Allen Culinary Management?
After gaining experience in various parts of the food industry I felt it was time to focus, build my brand and start something of my own.
What does it all entail?
It is basically a food management service. I will manage chefs for various clients or events, I menu consult with the client and then place somebody/number of people suitable for the job. Should it be a high profile job I lead the kitchen team myself. It also is a consulting service, so clients needing bespoke menus for special occasions, or a restaurant needing help conceptualising a menu. It is also a sharing platform for recipes, kitchen tips and tricks.
Tell us more about the Feed The Bachelor concept. How can men benefit from this and when will it start?
Most young men are hardworking entrepreneur types with little time. Feed The Bachelor is a one stop service which provides product and instruction to get men into the kitchen and to get them to love it at the same time, whilst saving time on shopping and having to dine out all the time.
What's your favourite recipe to cook in summer?
Seared tuna and bacon salad with baby leaves and avocado.
What are your best food tips for summer?
Keep it fresh, bright and simple. There are beautiful fruits and vegetables which come into season. Use them to create interesting dishes and don't be afraid to mix flavours. Play around and see what works for you. Keep experimenting.
What do you like the most about being in the kitchen?
The pleasure that comes from taking simple ingredients and then turning them into an exquisite dish, and then the result that is feeding people. I love feeding people.
What can we expect from you in the next few months?
I see the next few months, with season approaching being very busy. I plan to actively blog to share all my food secrets and tips with everybody. I will also be doing a lot of work for the LeCreuset brand so keep an eye out for my calendar on my website at www.sueannallen.com to see where I'll be cooking. And there are some TV prospects in the pipeline, to be shared a bit later.
Your favourite tip for food lovers?
As Julia Child said: "If you don't like butter, use cream!"
What's the perfect food to serve on a date?
Stick to what you know, date time is not the time to try to get all Heston Blumenthal. Also nothing to heavy, nor too complicated. I'd do a medium sized steak cooked to perfection, seasonal baby veg, some sweet potato crisps and a reduction or sauce of sorts, and make sure it looks good, that's half the battle won.
What's your favourite food dish to eat?
I'm a Thai girl all the way. The perfect balance of sweet, spicy, salty, coupled with hints of things like ginger, garlic and lemon grass is food bliss for me!
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