Mike’s Kitchen Menu Shoot

Styled for the lovely team at Mike’s Kitchen, these are just a few images of the dishes styled and shot for the new menu which was launched in November 2016.

Burgers Curry Desserts Desserts2 SaladsMilkshakes

Easy Cheese Straws & Cheddar Bacon Dip

A few weeks ago I received a block of Healey’s Slow Matured Cheddar Cheese from Healey’s and Waterkloof Wines. These easy puff pastry cheese straws and cheddar & bacon dip were the result of lots of um’ing and ah’ing over what to do with this gorgeous cheddar (one option was purely slices of cheese and a glass of red wine, but experimentation won out in the end, thank goodness!). Healey’s is mature, tangy and perfect for using in these dishes as it adds a great strong cheddar kick! Recipe follows under picture. Enjoy!


To make the Cheese Straws

1 roll (400g) store-bought puff pastry

1 Tbsp olive oil

Pinch of coarse salt and some ground black pepper

Sprinkle of cayenne pepper

1/2 cup of grated Healey’s Slow Matured Cheddar (or any other strong cheddar if you prefer)

2 Tbsps. Parmesan cheese, grated

To bake the Cheese Straws

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius and prepare a baking tray with Spray n’ Cook or a silicone mat. Roll out your thawed pastry onto a lightly floured surface and brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper then sprinkle over the cheeses. Cover pastry with a piece of cling-wrap and press down on the surface (I used a baking tray) to ensure that the cheese is firmly pressed into the pastry.

Remove the cling-wrap and using a sharp knife, cut your pastry into 1.5cm to 2cm strips (I managed about 16 strips). Pick up your strips one by one and twist from each end to make a twisted tube, place on the baking tray and repeat until all strips are twisted and ready for baking. Pick up any cheese that has fallen off and press into the strips of pastry (I added a little more cheese for extra cheesy straws!).

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, remove from oven and allow to cool a little before serving.

To make the Cheddar Bacon Dip

1 cup of full cream milk

30g butter

1 heaped Tbsp. all purpose flour

1 cup Healey’s Slow Matured Cheddar cheese (or any other strong cheddar of your choice)

1 tsp. Tabasco

Sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Salt & ground black pepper to taste

100g bacon bits or streaky bacon cut into small pieces

To cook the cheese & bacon dip

On a low to medium heat melt your butter in a small saucepan, add the flour and stir constantly until flour is absorbed then slowly add your milk, stirring or whisking as you go. Once all your milk has been added, add the remainder of the ingredients. Keep stirring until cheese has melted and you have a thickish smooth silky sauce (takes about 5 minutes, don’t let it start boiling). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

While your cheese sauce is cooling, fry your bacon in a frying pan until crispy. Remove from heat, add to cheese sauce and mix until combined. Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of bacon on top and serve with the cheese straws.

J’Something & GFWS 2016

J’Something developed three delicious recipes for his appearances at Good Food & Wine Show in Cape Town this year which we were lucky enough to cook, style, shoot and taste! From left to right: Spicy Pappardelle Alle Vongolle, Chorizo & Pea Soup with a Three Cheese Grilled Sandwich and Rissois De Camarao. All three recipes can be downloaded at http://www.jsomething.com. Styled by me and shot by http://www.curtisgallon.com



Harissa Tomato Soup & Coriander Cream

The wonderful people at ZZ2 Farming sent me a hamper a few weeks back so I decided to use their fresh Romanita & Spanish Santé tomatoes to make this gorgeously hearty Harissa Tomato Soup. You can buy Harissa paste but it is just so quick and easy to make, that I made my own and have included the recipe below. A perfect dish for the coming winter; healthy, warming & delicious as a starter or main for lunch or dinner!

Harissa tomato soup


Harissa Paste

  • 4 Red Chillis, de-seeded & finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp coarse Salt
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp ground Coriander
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil


  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 medium Onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Harissa paste (or more if you prefer a kick)
  • 4 tsp ground Cumin
  • 4 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 700g fresh Romanita & Spanish Santé Tomatoes, halved (you can use any fresh tomatoes)
  • 2cm fresh Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp granulated Sugar
  • 1.5L Vegetable Stock
  • Salt & Pepper to Season

Coriander Cream

  • 250ml Sour Cream
  • 4 tbsp Coriander, chopped


Harissa Paste: Combine all ingredients in a mortar & pestle and grind until a fine paste is formed. Set aside.

Tomato Soup: Heat the oil and over a low temperature, sauté the onion & garlic until soft. Add the cumin, harissa paste and tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add the tomatoes, ginger, sugar and stock, mix well and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Allow the soup to cool and transfer to a blender and blend until smooth (you can further strain the soup through a sieve if you prefer a silkier, less chunky soup). Season wth salt & pepper to taste.

Coriander Cream: Mix the sour cream and coriander together and serve soup in bowls with a dollop of coriander cream on top.

Spring Rolls with Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce

These quick and easy raw Spring Rolls with a Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce are an absolute hit as a starter, snack or a quick lunch! Consisting of fresh vegetables, herbs and raw nuts these unprocessed and uncooked Spring Rolls are a deliciously healthy addition to your diet. This is an easy way of preparing a raw food dish to compliment your healthy lifestyle.

Asian Rolls with dipping sauce 1

Ingredients for the Spring Rolls:

  • Rice Paper
  • Warm Water
  • Raw Peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Carrots, cut into strips (Julienned)
  • Cucumber, julienned
  • Red Pepper, julienned
  • Celery, julienned
  • Coriander, roughly chopped

Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce

  • 60ml Water
  • 60ml Rice Vinegar
  • 5ml Sesame Oil
  • Juice & Zest of 2 Limes
  • Red Chilli, small, finely chopped
  • 2tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Spring Onion, finely diced


First prepare all your fresh ingredients and set them aside (carrots, red pepper, cucumber, celery, coriander and peanuts).

Dip each piece of rice paper, one by one, into a bowl of warm water to soften them, then carefully lay them out on a damp towel (they do tear easily). Arrange your fresh ingredients on the lower half of the rice paper, then working quickly, fold the left and right sides over the filling and roll up tightly. Finish by trimming the ends to make a neat edge. Continue with each until done, place on a platter and transfer to the fridge.

For the dipping sauce: Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Allow to stand for 20 minutes to infuse and then refrigerate,

Serve both the rolls and the dipping sauce chilled.


J’Something & Boardmans Shoot

It’s not every day that you get to go absolutely mad, props-wise, and choose anything and everything your little heart could possibly desire to kit out a kitchen with. That opportunity came courtesy of a shoot booked for J’Something and Boardmans in the beginning of November 2015 were I got to utilise both my food as well as décor expertise and play the role of stylist in both categories. Not only was this an exciting shot but the group of people at J’Something and Boardmans were an absolute dream to work with, high-energy, focused and creative, they made it a breeze to be on set.


Chocolate Genoise with Cream & Seasonal Fruits



(makes 2x 20cm cakes)

  • 8  eggs
  • 200g  castor sugar
  • 150g  cake flour
  • 100g  butter, melted
  • 20g  cocoa
  • 20g  cornflour
  • Spray & cook to grease tin
  • 400ml cream, whipped to thick
  • Strawberries & fresh seasonal fruits of your choice

Chocolate Ganache

  • 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 100ml cream


  • Pre-heat oven to 200ºC
  • Sift together dry ingredients.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar together to ribbon stage over a *bain-marie.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk until cold and thick.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients and melted butter very gently.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool completely, then slice cakes across diameter in half.
  • To make ganache, scald the cream in a saucepan and pour over chocolate and stir to melt.
  • Layer cake with cream and strawberries and decorate with chocolate ganache and seasonal fruits.

*bain marie = a pan of hot water in which a cooking container is placed for slow cooking

Trout, Caper & Cream Cheese Salad

I often get teased about the fact that I tend to style ALL of my food, whether at home, entertaining friends and family or on a food shoot and catering lunch for clients. This particular salad was the result of using up excess product to make lunch for client & agency last week and just goes to show, that being creative with food is not necessarily difficult and that you don’t need a vast amount of produce to create something absolutely gorgeous and tasty too!




–  Variety of baby lettuce leaves

– Cucumber

– Red Onion

– Capers

– Plain Cream Cheese

– Ribbons of Smoked Trout

– Cracked Black Pepper

– Salt

– Drizzle of Lemon Juice

– Drizzle of Olive Oil

Roast Tomato, Onion & Thyme Soup

I love recipes that show versatility and that are easy to follow and non is easier, quicker or tastier than this Roast Tomato, Onion & Thyme Soup! In summer I serve it chilled with a drizzle of cream and in winter, warm with a drizzle of olive oil and warmed rolls or home-made bread.



  • 1kg Baby Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 Large Onion, sliced
  • 5 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, quartered
  • 2 Tsp’s Chilli Flakes
  • 1 litre Vegetable Stock (or broth)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to season


  • Pre-heat oven to 200ºC
  • Layer tomatoes, onion, thyme and garlic in a roasting pan or casserole dish
  • Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle over the chilli flakes, salt and pepper
  • Roast for 40-45 minutes and remove from oven once done
  • In a pot, warm through the vegetable stock, add the roasting pan contents and bring to the boil
  • Turn down heat and simmer for 15-20minutes
  • Allow to cool and then blend until smooth
  • Filter blended soup through a sieve (to catch all those unblended tomato skin pieces) and return to pot
  • Season to taste and serve warm or chilled
  • Garnish with cream or olive oil or basil or croutons.