Every now and then life gives one a little fillip – an unexpected gift of serendipity that lifts your day. My friend Ryan and I were invited to lunch my Miele South Africa’s resident chef Gerhard Koekemoer the other day. Our “simple” lunch was rustled up on a couple of Miele cooking platforms including the induction hob (for perfectly poached eggs), steam oven (for fresh crisp-to- perfection) asparagus, the convection oven (for the beautiful beer breads), and the suvée oven for our subtle and soft roast beef – all served with panache and passion.
As a farmer’s son, Gerhard grew up more interested in cooking and baking, than raising cattle and fruit growing. He was blessed from the beginning with an instinct for flavour combinations and followed his passion with a diploma in Tourism Management. After completing his studies, stints with a number of hotels followed, where he did everything from reception, events and marketing to banqueting. During this time he took a number of cooking classes, qualifying in a variety of culinary skills.
“What you have to understand is that all food has to come from somewhere,” Gerhard Koekemoer, Events Manager, Miele SA
“What you have to understand is that food has to come from somewhere – every dish needs to speak on the plate, whether it’s an experience, a memory or an association – it must deliver in some way beyond its taste,” he says. His passion is given free reign in the Miele kitchen in Bryanston. In the five years that he has worked there as its events manager, the number of functions held annually has grown from 18 to around 250! All of these events point guests to the fabulous attributes of Miele’s ovens, grills, coffee makers and even its ice cream making capabilities.
While the built-in cunning resident within each Miele appliance is generally enough to improve the efforts of the most mediocre of cooks, Gerhard believes that popular reality television shows such as the Australian Masterchef Professional have done wonders to improve the standard and food awareness of the most amateur of cooks. These shows too expose the latest cooking and baking techniques, which are mirrored in Miele’s appliance. Slow cooking for example is a huge trend in food preparation and Miele has its own suvée oven built into the various cooking ranges.
Gerhard’s Top Five Trends Driving Food Preparation:
- SLOW Food movement internationally
- Time and convenience
- Food on television and the “trade secrets” revealed
- Our sense of openness and self-improvement
Recipes: courtesy Gerhard Koekemaar:
360g Self raising flour
330ml (1) Beer
100g Grated Cheese
- Combine the flour and sugar.
- Stir in the beer then the grated cheese.
- Grease a muffin tin and set aside.
- Divide the mixture to fill 12 muffin tins
- Set your Miele oven to Moisture Plus for three bursts of steam then add your muffins.
- Set the time for 25 minutes and bake.
- Take the bread out and brush with melted butter then bake for another five minutes.
Aioli (Garlic Mayonnaise):
3 Large Egg Yolks
5ml White Wine Vinegar
5ml Dijon Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
250ml Canola oil
15ml Olive oil
1 Garlic clove smashed
- Place the egg yolks, vinegar and mustard in a bowl and whisk with an electric beater.
- Stream the olive oil a little bit at a time until the mixture emulsifies.
- Add the smashed garlic and set aside.
- Serve in a small jug and pour over the steamed asparagus