She’s the author of ‘Boerekos met a twist’, she’s also a very busy food consultant, her blog has more than 2,3 million hits plus she runs a thriving business offering specialist cooking classes, and yet here she is spending two full precious days with our Kitchen Incubator foodtrepeneurs. What brings Annelien Pienaar here?
She’s taking a short lunch break from our mid-summer hot and steamy kitchens and has very kindly agreed to chat to us about her work.
‘I’ve known Cariema for a long time,’ she begins. ‘ and I’ve always liked how she supports building community – all communities – not just brown or Muslim communities. I’ve seen her passion for empowering people and how she spreads kindness in everything she does. Those are values that we share, so when she called to ask me to run a 2 day workshop for the Kitchen Incubator I was very happy to do so.”
As a food consultant, Annelien is most often brought into professional kitchens to troubleshoot problems. She’s quick to pinpoint where kitchens can save money through tightening up their processes and stock management, and based on her many years of experience, she also advises on health and hygiene issues and improving recipe methods.
In these two days, Annelien has been teaching the required levels of food production safety to the Kitchen Incubator team as well as refining and tweaking their recipes. ‘Knowledge can’t be taken away from you, ‘ she says. ‘with knowledge, you can improve your skills. I love to hear stories from those I teach who tell me because of what they learned, they can produce more and now their child goes to school with a new school bag, or instead of walking for miles, can take a taxi.’
She’s been so impressed with our foodtrepeneurs’ wonderful recipes, the positive energy they’re bringing to her workshop and the insightful questions they’re asking. Annelien’s enthusiasm shines through in her voice and her smile as she speaks.
Annelien’s recipes are known for having a specific lesson included in them. If there is one key lesson she’d like to share with the Foodtrepeneurs to help them go forward in their businesses, what would it be?
‘Measurement!’ She says promptly. ‘It’s so critical to really really understand quantities especially when it comes to baking and preserving. It’s the answer to delivering consistency. Consistency’s non-negotiable when it comes to cooking for the public.’
As a person who obviously appreciates heritage when it comes to food, we asked Annelien if she thought that the popularity of heritage food was part of a global trend.
She wrinkles her nose. ‘I don’t much like the word ‘trend ‘and I wouldn’t describe heritage food as a trend anyway,‘ she says. ‘But what I can tell you is that 38% of my followers comes from ex-pats living overseas. ‘ It’s clear there’s a hunger for home cooking out there.
‘I find that where ever there’s heritage food being cooked, it’s more likely that people sit around a table and eat together,‘ she adds.
And that in itself is a powerful form of community building. Where ever we are in the world, we like to cook dishes we’re familiar with. Heritage cooking is a wonderful way to connect with the feeling of home, regardless of how far away that may be.
Annelien‘s book, already available in Afrikaans, is soon to be published in English: ‘Boerekos With A Twist’. Look out for it on Amazon. In June 2018. The TV show BoereKosTwist will showcase April 9th, 2018 on VIA television.
We’re thrilled to have had the privilege of Annelien’s tremendous wealth of experience and knowledge during these last two days. Thank you Annelien. Looking so forward to having you back for more!