THELUVVIE.COM’s Estelle Sinkins speaks to Hilton chef, Jackie Cameron, about her new book, Baking with Jackie Cameron.
HILTON’S Jackie Cameron made her first biscuits under the watchful eyes of her grandmothers, and she pays tribute to those long ago lessons in her latest recipe book, Baking with Jackie Cameron.
“This is my first book since the release of Jackie Cameron Cooks at Home. There were a lot of ice creams in there – even a lemon meringue pie. So I thought those kinds of recipes might be what people would want,” said Cameron, who runs the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine in Old Howick Road.
“I felt there were not enough baking recipes in the first book and I really want to document all my recipes, so that’s how it started, where the idea for a baking book started.”
One of the key features of Baking With Jackie Cameron are the superb photographs which showcase each delicious recipe in a way that gets your tastebuds watering in seconds. It’s something Cameron was keen to get right.
“I know that when I go into a shop I am always enticed by something decadent – and I believe that pictures really sell a book, so I wanted to get that right. I think we have… I feel that people will buy this book even with the banting diet going on!,” she said.
There are more than 80 recipes in the book, which covering everything from biscuits, breads, pies and quiches for family meals, to celebration cakes and delectable desserts. But Cameron, who was born and raised in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, wouldn’t be an award-winning chef if she didn’t take a recipe and make it her own.
“There is a reason behind each and every recipe in the book,” says Cameron. “Some like my gran’s scones and Granny Kay’s no flour Christmas cake I couldn’t change, but there are a few recipes which are recognisable but have a bit of a twist.”
Students at her cooking school helped to ‘road-test’ every recipe, a task I’m sure they thoroughly enjoyed. “We had to fine tune the recipes, and I think it really helped the students hugely with the patisserie and baking side of their course,” Cameron said.
And, because the chef understands that some readers will be novice bakers, she recommends that every person who buys the book takes the time to read her Chef’s Notes at the back.
“It’s packed full of cool and interesting things, so read the notes before you start – you will be benefiting from all the research and time that went into each recipe,” she says.
“I have documented every recipe I’ve done since I started cooking, and, because I love knowing as much as possible about something, I can guarantee that the recipes I am giving you can be relied on 200 percent.”
But Cameron, the former head chef of Hartford House hotel in Mooi River, also advises readers to remember that temperatures are only a guide – every stove is different – and that while it’s important to follow a recipe, you also need to use your own initiative.
Speaking about the work which went into producing her latest book – which is dedicated to her parents John and Mauveen Cameron, her sister Sheldeen Cameron and other family members who have supported her – says it was definitely a team effort.
“I couldn’t have done this book without the help of my colleague, Elaine Boshoff, my students, designer, Helen Henn, editor Gill Gordon, photographer Myburgh du Plessis who took images of the tasty bakes, Sally Chance who shot the cover image and everyone else who contributed,” Cameron said.
Most importantly she hopes that bakers and would-be bakers will be able to use her book to make their own tasty creations.
“This book is filled with passed-down family secrets that I’m revealing because I believe in sharing knowledge, Cameron said. “I really hope Baking With Jackie Cameron encourages people to start baking because I can’t think of anything more exciting than people getting round the kitchen table, cooking and eating together.”
- Baking With Jackie Cameron is published by Penguin Random House Struik.
MEET THE AUTHOR
JACKIE Cameron will be speaking about her new book at the Midlands Literary Festival at Yellowwood in Howick on August 27 and 28. She will appearing at 12 noon on Sunday.
The festival kicks off at 6 pm on Friday, August 26 at Ike’s Books and Collectables in Florida Road, Durban.
The event will feature appearances by Jessica Pitchford (Switched at birth); Fikile Hlatshwayo (Blacks do Caravans); Thomas Mollett (the Oscar Pistorius case) and Ashwin Desai, who will be talking about William Shakespeare as the world celebrates the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s birth.
The action then heads to the Midlands for two days packed full of talks and opportunities for book lovers to hear from and interact with a range of authors in a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.
- This article first appeared in The Witness