My Kind Of Food Food Fit For A President 2009: Personal Chef

My Kind of Food Food fit for a president

Once the personal chef to president Jacob Zuma, Allen Pfister takes cooking for big crowds in his stride.
Hilary Biller spoke to him Basically it’s one long table where everyone from all walks of life sit together, break bread and embrace peace and different cultures and it’s all for a good cause, which is charity. This year the Table of Peace and Unity celebrates its 10th anniversary and — for the first time — five tables will be hosted simultaneously around the country today. It’s all in the advance planning and that the satellite kitchen is well set up. Everything has to be prepared to the minutest detail. The team is vital. We have eight chefs and the help of 20 students from the Capital Hotel School helping us on the day. The logistics are impressive. For example, for the main course we have to take 160kgs of meat and that’s just one ingredient. Most of the prep is done in advance and then plated at the venue. The whole meal must look elegant and taste sublime but also simple enough to prepare hundreds of plates in a very short period of time.
I’ve focused on proudly South African flavours. Seafood from our vast coastline for the starter. For the main I’ve taken one of SA’s favourites, beef biltong, and powdered it over a loin of lamb. Of course, there’s bobotie but I’m particularly proud of our dessert done in conjunction with my pastry chef Dalton Stander. We’ve taken rooibos tea and turned it into an exciting trio of desserts — rooibos anglaise, rice pudding and a cappuccino parfait.

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