Super foods are gaining popularity as people become more health conscious. Adding Super foods to your conference delegates is not only on-trend , but it improves their concentration and heightens their brain functionality ensuring the objectives of the day are met.
Executive Chef of the Sandton Convention Centre, James Khoza believes that when it comes to preparing super foods, “the general rule for all chefs is to respect the ingredient. This means that you need to research best preparation methods to get the most out of that ingredient.”
Raw food has become more popular than ever as retaining as many nutriants is important. “Simplicity is key. Time is important; veggies need to be cooked quickly (a minute or two at most). This also is at the discretion of the chef based on what they want to achieve, they will choose the best method of manipulating an ingredient to retain its own identity among others on a plate” he says.
The quality of the ingredients also plays a big role. “We engage the supplier to source the best ingredient locally they can find from areas or farmers that we identify. We also have specialist farmers who we order from directly. Lately we have been asking our produce suppliers to investigate SMME co-operatives which are producing great quality produce in the Johannesburg area. Organic produce is good, but it appeals mostly to hotels and independent restaurants rather than operations such as ours which is managed by volumes. That said we can certainly accommodate smaller events and customise menus for them.”
You can also have the benefits of super foods every day. Chef James recommends that “a packed lunch must be produced on the day it is to be consumed. A lot of people will argue my point, but that’s my philosophy. Food must fresh, alive and appealing. You can achieve this by cooking and packing the food according to its spec” he syas.
A great tip to save time and keep you performing optimally throughout the week is to “dry goods first then within two hours depending on volume, you cook, chill , vacuum seal and place in a bag. This requires a lot of planning but hard work bears great rewards and there are no short cuts. We strive to serve freshly-cooked or produced food as would be served in an a la carte set up” a trick every person who makes a packed lunch can benefit from.