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Herdboy, waiter, head chef

first_img22 June 2006In Shadrack Sihlangu’s first week as a trainee chef, he was told to “take some garlic .” and he didn’t know what it was. Sent to fetch fresh ginger, all he could think of were ginger biscuits.He was a source of great amusement to the kitchen staff. “The other chefs were laughing,” he says, “but Yvonne Short and Dumi Ndlovu didn’t. And I learned.”Short was operations manager at the Londolozi game lodge in Mpumalanga and the famous Ndlovu was head chef.Sihlangu, who must have seemed unpromising material to his peers, is now a head chef himself. He rules the kitchen at the super-luxurious, all-suite Little Bush Camp – the fourth and newest lodge of Londolozi’s equally famous neighbour, Sabi Sabi.Herdboy, schoolboyHe did not set out to be a chef. In fact, growing up in the small rural village of Somerset Trust, he had no particular goals at all, beyond getting his matric. But after what he went through to get to high school, matric was easy.Throughout his primary schooling, he had to tend his father’s extensive goat and cattle herd for half the week, sharing the chore with his older brother, Sandros. One week he would herd for three days and attend school for two; the next week, it would be reversed.Both brothers made it to high school and both got their matric. Sandros became a game ranger at Londolozi, and Shadrack went to work as a quality controller for a company that made shade cloth. But five years of checking for flaws were enough. His brother suggested that Shadrack join him and, in 1992, young Sihlangu got a job as a waiter.It wasn’t long before he noticed that one of the chefs was about his age. “I looked at him and thought, ‘How can he do a difficult thing like that?’,” he recalls. “I asked Yvonne Short and she said, ‘You’re welcome to come into the kitchen.’ I was still growing up, so I was learning quickly.”The Londolozi kitchenHe was started on cheese twists and courgette fritters – “small things. They took me step by step.” Trained by Ndlovu, who had him peeling potatoes and onions, and assembling ingredients for potjiekos, he watched how to cook red meat and white meat, and which sauces go with which kind of meat.Although Sihlangu knew nothing about cooking when he came into the Londolozi kitchen, the encouragement he received to try it was “part and parcel of our policy,” says Short, who has recently joined Pick ‘n Pay. “We employed rural people. You look for the right attitude, the sparkle in the eye, a quick warm smile, and then you go from there.“He was fantastic to work with,” Short adds. “Most chefs stay in the kitchen and never see people enjoying the food. But with Shadrack, he did the food in front of the guests. When you’re cooking in front of guests you become more involved, you take more responsibility.”Sihlangu gave a modest spin to his interaction to the guests. He says he would describe what was in the potjiekos, what was in the salad, what people liked and disliked. “Some people are not eating anchovies or garlic,” he explains.But there was a great deal more to it. “He had a real sense of hospitality,” says Short. “The joy of a happy satisfied guest having just enjoyed yummy food in front of a roaring fire under the stars is inspiring and rewarding.”In 1994, Sihlangu moved to Lodolozi’s Tombela lodge as chef de partie, working under head chef July Ngwenya. When Ngwenya resigned in 1999, Sihlangu was promoted to his position. He stayed there until 2002, when he became assistant head chef at a lodge called Selati, owned by Sabi Sabi.Head chefIn March this year, he was made head chef at a small guest lodge newly acquired by Sabi Sabi. And when he walked into the empty kitchen, it was, in a way, a homecoming. The lodge was Tombela, now renamed Little Bush Camp.The job was a major challenge. “There was nothing in the kitchen,” Sihlangu says. “There was no garden. We had to renew everything.” And they had to do it quickly, because guests were arriving soon.There are two chefs de partie working with Sihlangu in his spotless kitchen, and all of them do everything. There is quite a lot to do: three sumptuous meals a day, plus wake-up pastries before the morning and afternoon game drives and snacks for sundowners in the bush. Both the luncheon and dinner menus must include one dish of red meat and one of white. Everything is made in the kitchen, including muesli and rusks, cakes, biscuits, ice cream.Cooking gameThere is quite a lot of game on the menu, but it all comes from a supplier. When Sihlangu began back in the ’90s, “we were allowed to shoot impala, but we’re not allowed to shoot anymore. The guests are here to see the animals,” he points out, and not to eat them – or at least, not the animals they’ve been viewing from the back of an extended open Land Rover.Here’s how he does game: he marinates it in soy sauce, paprika, salt and pepper, a little bit of olive oil “and a drop of lemon juice, because it mustn’t taste like an animal. You marinate it for four to five hours. And you must serve it rare or medium rare. The more you cook game, the harder it becomes.”What he most likes to prepare is fillet – of impala, ostrich or beef. “It gives me results,” he says. And he also enjoys baking various flavours of creme caramel: vanilla, banana, orange. “It looks nice,” he says. “And it tastes nice.”And what does he like best to eat? “Roast chicken and chips – I can eat it for 30 days a month,” he says.FamilyIt seems an idyllic situation, head chef in an exclusive game lodge not far from his home, but there is a downside. His wife, Lindiwe Gumede, stayed in the kitchen at Selati when he moved to Little Bush Camp, but it’s not far by Land Rover.Somerset Trust, however, is 15 kilometres away, and they can only get there about once a month to see their three daughters, who stay in the family home with a housekeeper. “It’s hard to live away from the children,” he says, “especially as my eldest is in Grade 12 and starting to look at the boys. I don’t like that, but I’m at a distance.”The two older girls, Wendy and Adelaide, aren’t much interested in kitchens, but six-year-old Nandi is fascinated. “She is going to be a chef. I just feel it in my heart,” he says. “She really likes what I’m doing. When I have a chef’s hat on my head, she loves it a lot. And when I’m making chips in the kitchen, she likes it.“I think a star is born.” Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more


December 19, 2019 0

5 Fabulous New Features Google Unveiled Today

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Near Instant Voice TranslationA new prototyped product allows not just search by voice, but near instant translation between English and Spanish in the cloud, via your mobile phone. Gundotrpha spoke a paragraph’s worth of words into his phone and within seconds the phone recited a translated version back in Spanish. It was amazing. Google hopes to have support for all the world’s major languages completed sometime in 2010.Customized Suggest Based on LocationGoogle Suggest is a very smart, if under-appreciated, feature. The feature will soon make use of location information when searches are performed on mobile devices. Gundrotrpha demonstrated on one phone that believed it was in Boston and one that believed it was in San Francisco. Upon typing the letters “RE” the Boston phone suggested searches for Red Sox, the local baseball team. The San Francisco phone suggested a search for REI, the outdoor gear outfitter.Google Product Search Combined With Inventory Feeds from Local RetailersLocal mobile product search will soon tell you where the nearest store with a product is and whether that product is in stock.Near Me NowNext: Google Launches Real-Time Search NowGoogle.com on mobile, starting today on Android phones, will offer top-level search categories like restaurants or stores on the front page. Click that button and you’ll see the closest-by search results ranked by user rating.Google GogglesVisual search. Take a photo, click a button and Google will analyze imagery and text in the photo for your search query. Pretty exciting.  1 billion images are included in the index today but Google says it has made the decision not to include facial recognition until privacy concerns are figured out.Stay tuned for the next update… on Google’s new real-time search. Tags:#Features#Google#news#NYT#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Google is holding a major demo event at the Computer History Museum today and unveiled a number of incredible new features. It was the kind of event that restores a person’s faith in Google as a major innovator. From voice search and translation, to location and visual search, here are the five most impressive technologies unveiled so far.The demos are all being done by Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering for Google.last_img read more


December 17, 2019 0

New panel to review previous findings on private forest land in Goa

first_imgThe Goa government has set up a three-member committee to review the findings of high-level panels formed earlier to identify private forest lands in the coastal state.The move comes after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on August 8 imposed a fine of ₹10,000 per day from July 2019 on the State government, till it submits the report on private forest land.The Government, in a notification issued on August 24, said a three-member panel will have to review the findings of the Karapurkar and Sawant committees (set up earlier) and submit its report within three months on the exact quantum of private forest land existing in Goa. This is the second review committee formed by the State government. In April last year, the Government constituted a similar committee which reviewed reports of the Karapurkar and Sawant committees, identifying 42.12 sqkm of land in Goa as private forest. However, the BJP-led State government last month rejected that review panel’s report, claiming the “aggrieved people were not heard by the review committee“.In the notification issued last week, State undersecretary (Forest) Shaila Bhosle said, “The committee has been constituted to finalise the report on private forests submitted by the review committee, after considering the objections of the affected parties whose properties are going to be identified as private forests.” The committee should consider the objections of the affected parties and submit a report before the time limit prescribed by the NGT, she said. The NGT allowed a final extension of three months for submission of the report, subject to deposit of a performance guarantee of ₹1 crore to the satisfaction of the Central Pollution Control Board. Last month, the then state Forest Minister Vijai Sardesai said it was incorrect to be assumptive about demarcation of land as forest, and people should be consulted before finalising the report. He said many a times, a land owner is not even consulted or informed before his assets get marked as a private forest, depending on a survey. He said that the stratified random sampling method adopted for the survey was not acceptable as the actual position should be known before marking the forest.last_img read more


December 1, 2019 0

A Besieged Bastion

first_imgYeddyurappaHaradanahalli Devegowda Kumaraswamy, the state JD(S) boss and former Karnataka chief minister in a JD(S)-BJP coalition government, has for months planned the drama in the state which has left the 28-month-old B.S. Yeddyurappa-led BJP government in a crisis. The first signs of dissidence cropped up last week when Yeddyurappa brought in his,YeddyurappaHaradanahalli Devegowda Kumaraswamy, the state JD(S) boss and former Karnataka chief minister in a JD(S)-BJP coalition government, has for months planned the drama in the state which has left the 28-month-old B.S. Yeddyurappa-led BJP government in a crisis. The first signs of dissidence cropped up last week when Yeddyurappa brought in his lieutenants in a September 22 Cabinet reshuffle at the cost of some independent MLAs whose support helped prop up the first-ever BJP government south of the Vindhyas in May 2008. One of them, Sports Minister Goolihatti Shekhar, had even threatened to kill himself if he was removed. Bellary mining baron and Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy, whose brother Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy was instrumental in mobilising the independents to smell a new future in the saffron party, had also wanted Shekhar to stay. Yeddyurappa, claiming the party high command and the RSS leadership had given him a carte blanche, threw caution to the winds and decided for himself.Kumaraswamy has taken on Chief Minister Yeddyurappa.Shekhar, like many others who felt wronged by the chief minister, cried foul. He and 18 other slighted MLAs wrote to Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj, withdrawing their support to the Yeddyurappa government. The list comprised 14 BJP MLAs and five independents including seven ministers. Bhardwaj played by the book and asked Yeddyurappa to prove his majority on or before October 12 by 5 p.m. Kumaraswamy, meanwhile, had already built his bridges with the Congress high command, having met Sonia Gandhi some months ago. That he had been trooping in and out of the Raj Bhavan this week only added to his key role in the drama. With the state Congress in a comatose since 2006, the high command had no choice but to go with a Congress-JD(S) combo to take on the BJP. Sonia even roped in former JD(S) man and ex-deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah into the Congress in July 2006 and made him head of the Congress Legislature Party and Opposition leader in June 2009. Even as Yeddyurappa deputed Janardhana, who had nearly pulled down the government in October 2009, to placate more than a dozen rebel MLAs holed up in a Chennai hotel on October 6, Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy’s secret rendezvous threw enough hints of serious trouble for Yeddyurappa.The 224-member Assembly comprises 117 BJP MLAs, 73 and 28 from the Congress and the JD(S) respectively, and six independents. Yeddyurappa, hoping the Reddys will do the trick for him, desperately needs the rebels to “come back home” to clock the magic number of 113. The rebels have spurned his olive branch to have some senior colleagues resign to accommodate five or six of them now and six more in six months. The fact that Kumaraswamy’s key man Zameer Ahmed, a Bangalore JD(S) MLA who owns a fleet of buses, was liasioning with the rebel MLAs in Chennai is not good news for the BJP.advertisementDissident BJP MLAs address the media outside Raj Bhavan.The Reddys are under pressure from the BJP high command to bail out Yeddyurappa while the Congress-JD(S) alliance wants the government to fall on its own before exploiting it. Karunakara symbolically stood behind Yeddyurappa at the October 6 Cabinet meeting in the Vidhana Soudha while their close aide and Health Minister B. Sriramulu even offered to resign if it helped the beleagured Yeddyurappa. State Congress Working President D.K. Shivakumar, working closely with Siddaramaiah, says his party “will play its cards close to its chest”. JD(S) leader M.C. Nanaiah had also touched base with a key Congress leader in Bangalore. If the Congress-JD(S) combo manages to lure the rebels, Kumaraswamy will play kingmaker: Siddaramaiah can realise his dream of becoming chief minister and Kumaraswamy’s brother H.D. Revanna, his deputy. Time is running out and the heat is on Yeddyurappa to survive this ordeal. Or just get ready to hang up his boots in a few days.last_img read more


November 28, 2019 0