Posts in Category: Recent Experiences

Leaving Singapore was sad, we had such a good time there, but always remember, it is always great to leave wanting more, and I am sure we will be back.
The Airline lounge has a buffet of all this fabulous Asian breakfast specialties, from prawn dim sums to potsticker dumplings, edamame beans, gorgeous Asian broths where you add in your own hard boiled egg, chicken pieces, glass noodles, tofu, crispy veg, seaweed strips, and potent chilli sauces to add a whack of flavour.  Heaven!  I had to taste a bit of everything, while Gavin looked the other way, with his muesli and fruit salad.  What a great way to start the day, instead of all the sugar laden cereals, heavy breads and decadent bakes, with cured meats and cheeses that the Western world tend to favour.
Come to think of it, in Thailand, we didn’t eat bread or pastries since we left Singapore, but there is of course rice with everything.  I do feel this is better, as it is a natural product, albeit a carbohydrate.
Landing in Koh Samui, after a quick flight, felt so familiar.  How many times have we landed there at that little airport in the past, say 12 years or so, with small children, or with friends to celebrate milestone birthdays, or with clients for photoshoots. Memories of people that have joined us over the years, the good times we shared, the laughter and the fun times, all bubble to the fore of my mind, and I feel warm inside. The kids growing up here, our 3 month sabbatical, when the kids said NEVER AGAIN to home schooling, as we were way stricter than any teachers!
Moments in time…that is what I think happiness is, just a series of fabulous moments that make you happy at the time, and then again later when we recreate these in our minds.
We took the 40 minute drive past familiar places to the FOUR SEASONS property on the North of the Island.  Clouds were getting darker, and the air was thick with humidity. With excitement we hoped we would actually get to experience a wonderful thunderous tropical downpour! The property is a superb place with many one to 2 bedroomed villas, and then the bigger “estates” they call them, which have up to 5 bedroom villas, with rim flow pools, lounges both in and outdoor, kitchens and so on. We were fortunate enough to have been invited to stay at one of these, on our own.  Well, with the Chef & the butler… just saying!  We kept looking at each other, wondering what on earth we had done to deserve this magical treat!
Our Villa was perched high up, with spectacular views over the sea with different hues of turquoise water, and the sprawling manicured, yet wild thick tropical vegetation that led down to the beach area.  We just sat soaking in the view, in absolute awe of the spectacular place we were in.  Our suite was huge, simply decorated with slight turquoise highlights, light wood, bamboo and light muslin curtains and the biggest bed we have ever been in. You literally had to hop, to get onto it, the mattress was THAT thick. The best thread count for the linen, and the lightest Hungarian goose down duvet, made us feel pampered beyond belief.
This led onto a dressing room, with his and hers basins and wardrobes, and all the walls were clad in ivory speckled caesarstone. What a great idea! Light and functional! Then through to the bathroom with a huge oval caesarstone bath, a very happy sight for us from the drought stricken areas. This looked out over the sea, palm trees gently swaying in front of the window. All of this had large sliding doors opening out onto a spacious deck. Here we had a minibar, tea & coffee station, and an outdoor lounge. Oh heaven!
So, we were now hungry, so unpacked quickly, and called a buggy to take us up to the famous Sunday Brunch (from 11 to 4pm) where you literally eat until you just can’t any more! Cocktails are recommended to start, so of course I chose something gorgeous with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, just SO good. Like a Tom yum Soup flavoured cocktail. There was a 3 piece band playing discreetly, and maybe 10 tables or so, a quiet civilised affair. This does tend to be more of a couples getaway than a family style resort, and is seriously upmarket. We just kept going back and back, for small tasters, trying to pace ourselves to get to try it all. You could choose a hot dish as well, and I went for the Lobster with beurre blanc and avocado, which was heaven. Gav went with the New Zealand Lamb chops, which were okay. Think he had order envy!
Oh and then there is a whole room dedicated to the desserts and the extraordinary cheese platter. We had to have a sliver or two, again just for the taste, as by now, we were bursting!
The rains did come, gently while we were just finishing off our meal, and by the time we got back to our villa, the heavens really opened, and it was incredible. I ran a huge bath, with all the lovely coconut bath salts and oils provided, and just lay there, soaking it all in. How blessed are we! Had to have a short nap thereafter, just seems the right think to do. Luckily Gav set his alarm, as I think we would have slept right through.
Our wonderful personal Chef Kob and the ever efficient butler Khun Pui, were waiting for us in the lounge when we finally went through. I was going to have my first lesson with Chef, and Pui opened some delicious wine, as we know that it is impossible to cook without wine, right!
This soon became  our routine every evening for the next 6 days, we came to the kitchen around 6pm, and Chef had prepped and chopped all ready for the quick finishing off, that is so symbolic of Thai food. Do your prep, mis en place, then you are ready to eat in 20 minutes. Every evening she did 3 to 4 dishes, which you eat all together, no start, entree, main. We exchanged food tips, she shared her knowledge and talent freely with me. The lady could cook, that’s for sure!  No recipes, just like me, just “gooi”, a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
She made everything look so simple, and yet the flavours were complex and layered. She made her own pastes, and this really made the amount of ingredients added later, minimal. She really cooked the paste well in little coconut milk for a long time to release the flavours before the next steps. All stuff I know, but great to see the order she does it is. I have loads of pictures which will explain this in an easy way.  Crab curry was a hit, as was the Crab in coconut milk and lemongrass, the steamed sea bass with ginger, lime, basil etc, and a new one for me, Wingbean Salad, which we will definitely try, perhaps with substitute ingredients.
I will go through the dishes we prepped, and do my best to recreate this in our next Thai class, some great new recipes.
The beach area was just so picture perfect, and again, I think no words are needed here.  I found time to write, to read, to meditate and just to BE lying on my round bed shielded from the sun, and hydrated by endless glasses of chilled water supplied by the charming beach staff.
The water was a perfect temperature and was clean and clear, wonderful for swimming. There was a raft just off the beach, a good ten minute swim, and I enjoyed doing that, then just siting there, semi meditative and contemplating the world. So connected, so at peace…it really was heavenly. Gavin went on a SUP a few times as well as a water bike, such a funny site! Peddling away on the water.
We hired a scooter, much to the amusement of the Four Seasons staff, I mean WHO does that?  I think it was quite novel to them, and they were not quite sure what to think.  We took short rides around, went to Nathon, the local capital, and walked around the shops, went to Tescos to pick up my favourite Tom Yum stock cubes, and some other special ingredients. But to be honest, we were quite ready to get back to our haven, our beautiful perfect peaceful world, and didn’t stay out too long. You do realise the massive contrast from the real Thailand and resort Farang Thailand, a huge difference and this can be quite disturbing even for us, coming from SA!  There is such an unkempt, and rough local side with rubbish everywhere, alongside the pristine resorts of the 5 star world. Such a contrast!
We so enjoyed our massages so much, what a spoil.  Those girls just know how to do this so well, so generously giving of their calm energy, and so personal. How do they do this! It must be so exhausting. And they all treat you like you will be one of their permanent clients, knowing that you will be gone again soon.
I did the early morning Yoga at the outdoor Sala amongst the thick vegetation and palm trees, which was the teacher Sana’s own kind of yoga, called Dynamix, and this was a strengthening type of yoga which prepared your muscles for the poses that you learn. Quite amazing, and incredibly strenuous. I also joined him for Tai Chi, which we did on the beach, early morning dappled light on the sand. The gym was perched high up at the resort with incredible sweeping views and was really well equipped, and air-conditioned. They had Muay Thai boxing for those who wanted to try this, but I passed on this one.
We did venture out once to Five Islands Restaurant, on our little scooter of course, just to have a bit of an outing. We had celebrate one of my big birthdays there 11 years previously. They had moved, but the set up was identical, and we enjoyed a lovely meal there. Gav had the Duck in Red Curry, (for a change) and me…. well Crab Curry, of course! I will have to try to recreate these flavours with prawns, as we just don’t get fresh crab here, and I am not sure the frozen one will be the same. Perhaps I could make a crab stock… now there’s a thought, as this will bring in that sweetness that you find in this dish, and another depth of flavour.  Have to try this…
I so enjoyed our time in Thailand, made so special by being where we were, and looked after by our wonderful Chef and Butler.  What an incredible experience it was, and how blessed are we!  The people are as I always remember, warm, gentle and smiling.  They just can’t do enough to make your stay perfect.  They are so proud of Thailand and want you to experience the best of this.
The days went past too quickly, and on the last morning I took my early swim as usual, before the sun rose in the velvety warm water of our pool, as I did every morning. I watched the sun rise and sky change from inky black to a midnight blue, to warm oranges and then yellow. I was filled with joy, with gratitude and felt so calm and at peace. I was determined to take this feeling with me into my real world, my challenging world of busyness and endless lists! How do you maintain this calm when juggling 20 balls in the air and trying desperately not to let any of them fall! But it must be done, for one’s life to be sustainable, and we need to have this inner core strength in order not to become overwhelmed. So now in my morning meditation, I go back to that place, I feel the emotions and the connection, and it helps me to start my day off in the right way.
I am looking forward to sharing the food that I prepared with Chef Kob with you all soon!
Huge generosity of soul and spirit!

The Power of Food in Connecting People

We received this amazing email about a guests experience at Ginger & Lime food studio. Food really does connect people.

Firstly a big thank you for the amazing morning at Liam [Tomlin’s] cookery class in Ginger and Lime last Saturday. It was the perfect end to our holiday and we really appreciated your hospitality.

As you know it was even more special as I met up with my friend Amy. I had travelled to India ten years ago with a couple of friends and we met a group of South African doctors who had all trained in Ireland and had married Irish girls. They had a reunion trip to India and that is where I met Amy. We hadn’t seen each other since then so we could not believe that we met up again at an Indian Cookery Class in South Africa!! The world is very small!

Our best regards to all your team,
Ann and Shane

Friends reunite from India in Cape Town cooking Thali Tapas

How beautiful is this photo of friends reunited.

Liam Tomlin and his all new Thali Indian Tapas

Liam Tomlin, the creator of Thali and Chef’s Warehouse in Cape Town visits our food studio each month to bring us mouth watering TAPAS in a demo style cooking workshop. You may have noticed chef John Van Zyl sous at some of these events and he joined once again in April. John will be back in April 2017 to bring you a second installment of this incredible tastebud tantalizing Saturday. Click here to book!

Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 01 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 02 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 03 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 04 Denise Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 05 Denise Levy Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 06 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 07 Almo Kim Ginger and Lime Indian Tapas 08 Thali John Van Zyl Indian Tapas 09 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 10 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 11 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 12 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 13 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 14 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 15 Chef Tomlin Thali Indian Tapas 16 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 17 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 18 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 19 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 20 Chef Tomlin and Van Zyl Indian Tapas 21

Vegan and Plant Based Cooking – Nathalie Larsen

Nathalie is a private chef who’s foodie intentions are pure! With a passion for healthy, honest, clean cuisine she aims to inspire you to get back in the kitchen where the real magic happens. Let’s live better and feel better by eating better. Her recipes are all delicious and with commitment, is easy to integrate into your lifestyle. Her courses are great for those interested in plant based diets, simple superfoods others who are trying out veganism or full on braai loving meat eaters. Nathalie is travelling again in 2017 to Indo to work in Bali as a chef at places that cater for surfer’s yoga and retreats, she will however be holding regular events at the Ginger & Lime food studio.

Follow her adventures on Instagram @Earth_2_Plate

To find out about more courses by Nathalie:
Contact: / Katy 083 660 1146

The menu

Welcome //
Umami sushi bites with naturally pickled ginger, homemade Ponzu & eggless wasabi mayo

Main Event //
Build your medicinal Buddha bowl with
Gluten free wraps
Beetroot and chickpea cakes
Probiotic turmeric carrot, cabbage and fennel flower slaw
Tandoori Cauliflower skewers
Spiced cucumber, coconut & spring onion salad with seasonal garden herbs & greens

Curried Almond dressing
Coconut Yogurt Raita
Probiotic tomato and tamarind chutney

Sweet Endings //
Cooling Mint ‘nice cream’ with raw chocolate hardening sauce
Salted date caramel, whipped ‘cream, chickpea fudge & spirulina coconut sprinkles

p: +27 82 567 1677

Our courses styles and dates are always being updated, please bookmark these links:
Facebook | Website Calendar | Online Bookings

Contact us directly: Katy or 083 660 1146

Photos by Adrian Shields // Banshee22

Wine Sponsor: Stellar Organics
Produce Sponsor: Edible Co – Beyond Groceries
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Photos by Adrian Shields // Banshee22

Ginger & Lime ON SET in Yzerfontein

It is these early mornings that allow for reflection.  It is so peaceful and calm at this time of the day, the silence is comforting. Sometimes you fight against it, “Just another hour of sleep, please…… I am SO tired!”.   But then that first cup of strong tea, and the slow awakening of the consciousness to the possibilities of the day ahead, make it impossible not to embrace the day.
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It’s 4am now, the rain woke me up.  What a beautiful sound that is, and how grateful we are nowadays to hear this!  In the distance I hear the waves crashing thunderously on the rocks down on the beach in front of the house; the sea is wild today, matching the stormy sky conditions.
I am in Yzerfontein at the beach houses, where Cape Town Productions has been hosting some of their international crews to shoot their summer campaigns. I am taking care of the food side of things, and of course end up being Mom, counsellor & friend to the various crew members who stop by in the open plan kitchen and chat to me as I chop the carrots, sear the lamb shoulder, or whatever prep I am involved in They are always so interested in what meal is coming next, how it is being done and more importantly to them….. when is lunch being served?  It is an important part of their day to make sure they are nourished correctly, and that they feel nurtured and looked after. I like to feel that my input in some way contributes to the success of the shoot as a whole.
It never ceases to amaze me how food bonds and connect us all.  It is so easy to start a conversation with a relative stranger with “how to chop an onion”, and “what is that spice you are putting into the pot now” and then move on to,  “I miss my Mom, we used to have such fun cooking together in the kitchen, and now we live on different continents, and I am finding this so hard” or “What do you think I should do about …” . This makes it all so much more than just a job for me, the personal involvement on a deeper level with the individuals.
Yzerfontein Lunch Kimmy Ginger & Lime food studio
I have so enjoyed my time here, and today is my last day.  Seems strange, as I have been here for 2 weeks now, and I am in a steady routine, with clear purpose each day. I am very present here, living in the moment, and it is hard not to be.  You need to be organised, prepared and have a plan.  But the fun part is that you can change your mind at anytime, add something in, make just one more thing in case the already extensive menu is not enough.  I have enjoyed the freedom that my guests have allowed me, and I have been able to be as creative as I want.  There was no brief beforehand,  no fixed menu planned that I had to adhere to. I had total free reign to be as creative as I wanted to be.
Yzerfontein Lunch Buffet Ginger & Lime food studio
I spent much time developing a varied menu as a rough guideline which would always have something for everyone, as I know there are those that wanted to eat healthily, and those that wanted something more hearty and nurturing, some that like a bit of spice, and others having milder tastes.  I was conscious of textures, colours and strength of flavours, trying to vary these in each meal. I didn’t want plated food, I wanted casual family style food, that allowed my guests to select what appealed to them, and then to come back for more.  And they did! I wanted the spread to be visually pleasing, as these are after all some of the leading creative people in their fields. Visual is what they do. This has been amazingly rewarding, as well as challenging of course.
Yzerfontein Lunch Buffet Ginger & Lime food studio 04
I was supported on the first part of the job by a different assistant every 3 days or so.  For this one, Marks & Spencer, we were doing lunches for from 25 to 38 people, and dinners for around 15 per day, so this was necessary.  It  was great to have this support, as each one brought with them new and fresh energy, so that at the times when my energy took a dip, they were able to lift me up and allow me to become enthusiastic again.  They also assisted with the meticulous planning and cooking ahead for the next day.  Thank goodness I did production for all those years, is all I can say!
 Yzerfontein Lunch Team Ginger & Lime food studio
I arrived here with 2 cars full of stuff, from special pots, pans & knives, with every spice and sauce under the sun (just in case, as heaven forbid you never know when you may just need a juniper berry and not have one on hand, right!), all the dry goods (gluten free options too, of course) and then the meat, fish & chicken, and all the fresh produce and herbs for the first few days.  Actually the ordering in itself was an exercise of military precision, as in how much as well as coordinating the delivery dates and times. Well I have to say when the meat order arrived, I actually did think I was feeding an army!  Phew!  I don’t know how those guys in big restaurants do it on a daily basis, as it sure takes out the creativity of our lives.
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We quickly established an easy routine of starting the lunch prep in the morning early, and then serving at 1pm to the crew who were by then so ready to eat, having seen some of the prep and smelt the gorgeous aromas wafting out of the kitchen. What  a wonderful bunch of people! There were people from all over the world; from New York to Amsterdam as well as the UK bunch and our local crew.  The smiles on my team’s faces got broader as the compliments rolled in.  They were SO appreciative of what we served them every single time, and could not stop commenting on this.  Of course, this is what we live for, what we do it for…for reaching into those souls and warming their hearts.  “Do you like it?” we ask with trepidation, waiting for the answer. Then that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from hearing the praise for what you have produced, makes it all worthwhile. We puff up our chests, say “YES!” to ourselves silently, and can’t wait to do it all again, even better next time, and give them even more, just for that moment that you experienced. For the recognition, for the appreciation. They all said they could feel that the food was cooked with love, unlike most of the catering companies for whom this becomes just another job on the board, as I can fully appreciate and understand. If we did this all the time, this would probably happen too.
Yzerfontein Lunch Buffet Ginger & Lime food studio 2 Yzerfontein Lunch Buffet Ginger & Lime food studio CTPRODIMG_5164
Then back to the kitchen to begin the preparation for that evening’s meal, as well as start prep for the next day.  Dinner was often not until 9pm, as they shot with sunset light most evenings, so our day didn’t end until 10pm or so.  Then we would get to put our feet up on that table, and enjoy a very large glass of wine, and some mindless sitcom to switch off the adrenalin rushing through our veins.
Yzerfontein holiday beach house
I LOVE cooking, what can I say!  What a privilege to have cooked for these two amazing teams, to have stayed out here on the beach, to work out of the most incredible houses and to be supported by the most wonderful team throughout the job: Kim, Gabi, Almo, Lee, Tinashe, Tapiwa & of course Mary, I could not have done this without you. I am truly grateful. Till the next one, guys, bring it on, I am ready!!!!!
Please remember to book your private events at the Beach Houses or at Ginger & Lime by sending us an email | Online Course Bookings |

Denise Travels to Paris November 2016

If you haven’t joined us already on the England leg of this journey, click here for Part I of Gavin and my travels to Europe this month.
We were staying on the Blv Haussmann, which again was so central that we walked everywhere.  The AMBASSADOR is one of the Marriott hotels, and as Gavin is a frequent sleeper at this establishment, we were upgraded to a gorgeous spacious room, which for those of you are regular guests to Paris, will know that it is a rare thing indeed to be able to put a suitcase down, and actually get into the closet or the bathroom.  They even threw in breakfast, which was a real treat, as we never take extra breakfast at hotels, due to the ridiculous cost of around 25 Euro or so. Much better to pop out to a local cafe and experience the view of the city and the people at the same time.  Oh, those buttery croissants!!!! How do they get them just SO perfectly melt in the mouth and gorgeously flaky!  It was only with severe restraint that I managed on most mornings to stick to one of these, with the promise of lunch in the not too distant future.

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 We enjoyed a great experience at the restaurant  L’AVENUE on the Champs Elysee.  It was fascinating to see the well dressed gorgeous people who frequent this very upmarket, yet laid back establishment.  Clearly a job requirement for waitresses to be employed here is to have incredibly long well shaped legs, and to be able to serve while wearing stilettos or high heeled over the knee boots, with a very short skirt, of course.  Gavin didn’t know where to look first!


 But onto the food:  I enjoyed a wonderful piece of sea bass, which had a Tom Yum sauce, which was absolutely heavenly! Gavin had a Veal chop which was grilled to perfection, with a side of buttery green beans that only the French know how to do, and seriously I have tried!  There is something about their beans that is just different.  These dishes were recommended by a foodie friend of ours with impeccable taste, so we knew we could not go wrong, thanks dear friend!

Oh Paris at Christmas time, this was a first for me… there is nothing to beat the amount of effort that these department stores went to, and our jaws were literally hanging open.  I have tried to capture some of these in the pictures, but they really don’t do it justice.  It was freezing cold, and everyone is bundled up looking like Michelin Men, you just got to love those little kids who look so cute……. not quite true of the adults though, not a great look!!!

There seemed to be a permanent light drizzle, and it was very grey.  We didn’t see the sun at all for a few days.  This of course necessitated remaining in the shops for more of the time, not a hardship to do, right!  I am a seasoned shopper in this respect, and always wear light clothing under the coat, and shoes that slip off.  A real professional!

I had not been to the food hall at GALLERIE LAFAYETTE before, and this was again a real inspiration. Homeware is 5 floors, and has everything from seafood, to seasoned salts and exotic teas, to designer linen, and the best ever kitchen department store.
We went to LA COUPOLE in Montparnasse on the next evening, being a Saturday.  We first experienced the joys of this traditional old French establishment together when on honeymoon in Paris 25 years ago.  I remember so clearly devouring the little grey shrimps, asking for extra bread and butter, proper French loaves  with the crispy outside and soft inside served with the creamiest of butters,  to stretch them further and make the experience last longer (and of course to fill us up, as our budget was rather tight in those days).   We tried the oysters back then, just a dozen to share, and we were overwhelmed with the choice, there must have been 12 different kinds of oysters.  Not wanting to seem cheap, nor ignorant, we safely chose from somewhere in the middle of the price range, as one does.
This time, we had planned to have a bit of a spoil,  and so we enjoyed a glass of champagne at the bar first, observing the goings on from a distance, before being ushered into the “inner circle” of seats.  We must have looked presentable enough on this journey to be honoured with this position, as on our first visit we were definitely seated on the periphery, clearly not the most coveted place to be! So once again we did the grey shrimps, plus a few of the larger plump pink prawns in their shells, as well as a half crab for me (Gav knows this in one of my weaknesses and spoilt me rotten!).   This is served on a bed of crushed ice, elevated on a tiered stand, and then with the lemons wrapped in those little gauze covers to stop you getting pips, and with the most divine homemade mayo/mustard  for dipping.  The temperature of the seafood was just right, chilled perfectly, and we got stuck in with our hands and devoured every morsel.  What an awesome experience!  I do hope to visit many more times in this lifetime, and would put it firmly on anyone’s list of HAVE TO DO, while in Paris.
The next day was Sunday, so a down day for us.  We were actually very disciplined and used the well equipped gym daily for a proper workout, to try to balance the amount of food that was necessary to devour, all in the name of research, right?
We ended up walking under our umbrellas from our area through the Place Vendome, with all the gorgeous designer shops, and huge Christmas trees on to the Tuileries Garden, which look amazingly bare and very different in the beginning of Winter. We walked from there to Les Halles, and sat at a cafe outside (the heating is brilliant) and had a beer while people watching.
We then headed from there to the Marais area, as once again our foodie friends had recommend a local place for a casual meal. This area is fascinating, being the Jewish Quarter of Paris.  There were queues  and queues of people waiting patiently outside these falafel and kebab places, which are clearly very well known.  This is obviously a Sunday must, and had we known how full they would get, we would have gone earlier.  We tried to get into MIZNON, and actually squeezed into the door for a peek at what it was all about, but it was impossible to move in there, so we gave up. But oh my gosh, what heaven!  There were whole roasted cauliflowers, with the edges gorgeously burnt, on huge trays, next to roasted red peppers, artichokes and zucchini.
Below see the info that I found on the web, as we didn’t stay for lunch, but this is certainly a not to be missed experience!
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 Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, lower to a moderate boil and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cauliflower. Drain. Brush the cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Place in a baking dish, place the dish in the center of the oven, and bake until the top turns golden brown.

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The rue des Rosiers, an iconic street in Paris’ Marais neighborhood, is one of the few that remains reminiscent of the neighborhood’s Jewish community. Lined with Jewish bakeries and delis, this street is probably most well known for its falafel restaurants. Of the many choices, one falafel address reigns supreme: L’As du Fallafel, which is easily identifiable by its long lines and bright green façade. But a new kid on the block is pitting old pitas against new with the arrival of Miznon, an Israeli sandwich shop.

In the two years since Miznon opened, it has become an instant favourite. Locals flock to Miznon, where fresh ingredients come together in fluffy, homemade pita bread. Miznon has left the chickpea-based falafel fare to their neighbors while upping the game with a giant blackboard full of other sandwich selections. Fresh herbs and vegetables are heavily featured in each dish, with the restaurant’s space itself being a showcase for seasonal produce. Walking into Miznon almost feels like walking into a vegetable still life, with every shelf, counter space, and corner adorned with stacks of onions, vases of parsley, dill, and cilantro, and pyramids of sweet potatoes and grilled peppers. 

Roasted heads of cauliflower are sold as a whole, but also incorporated into one of the best sandwiches on the menu, the Chou Brisé. Another favorite menu item is the chicken salad sandwich, which sounds underwhelming, but is the exact opposite. A healthy handful of fresh parsley and thinly sliced red onion complement the tender chicken and just-enough secret sauce to elevate this sandwich from boring bagged lunch to a take-away delicacy. From time-to-time Miznon features a new item on their menu – recently adding a grilled head of broccoli – but the carte stays mostly the same, which is just fine because everything on the menu is so good that you don’t mind ordering the same thing over and over.

So from Paris, it was on to Manchester where Gavin had back to back meetings lined up.  This is one of my favourite places, and really not at all as I had imagined it would be on my first business trip there many years ago.  The food scene is buzzing, and again we stayed in the centre, so you walk everywhere.  The curries are legendary as they have a huge Indian/Pakistani population, and we had a great evening at EAST TO EAST on our first night with Gav tucking into a spicy Lamb Curry which had loads of depth, while I opted for a milder Prawn Butter Curry, with various side dishes.  This was as good as always.

The next day we had a quick lunch at Yo Sushi!, which is just always so good. They still do the conveyer belt, which is laden with all kinds of unusual sushi plates.  I was really craving greens, so ended up having 2 portions of their mixed seaweed salad (have to try doing this, as just SO GOOD, plus being UBER healthy), and some edamame beans, which did the trick.

Then on the last night we went to SAN CARLO, again a traditional establishment which has stood the test of time.  It is Italian, and specialises in the freshest of Seafood.  We started with fresh white asparagus and then as we were feeling in a pasta mood, I had my favourite Spaghetti Vongole while Gav had a spicy Arrabiata pasta.  Both were simple and authentic, and went well with a good bottle of the house Italian red wine.

So that was it as far as the culinary highlights went…….. Phew, did we eat a lot!  I now need to do a raw diet for a few days to balance it out.  I came home and hit the ground running as we were hosting a Batmizvah for 50 people (with outside catering, venue only) that evening!  Fortunately for me, my amazing team had this all ready and prepped, so there was no stress whatsoever, and the evening went off extremely smoothly.

I have come away energized and inspired to bring some of what I have experienced into our kitchen at GINGER & LIME, and to share this experience with you.


Spring has Sprung at Ginger and Lime food studio

On September the 20th Ginger & Lime food studio hosted a Spring Menu feast at the Peppermint Palace in Fresnaye. Our guests had an incredible time getting stuck into the menu recipes, the evening flowed wonderfully and the kitchen chatter was delightfully deafening. We were also super fortunate to have editor of Eat Out and food editor for Woolworths Taste Magazine Abi Donnelly in our food studio that evening as well as Denise & Gavin’s good friends Lisa and Phillip Key from African Relish in the Karoo who joined the beautiful chaos for a taste of Spring.

To book our next class please send us an email on or give us a ring on 083 251 6282.

Photos by Adrian Shields, he lives on the West Coast with his wife who assists us with our Social Media and loves food, travel and people photography.

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