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22 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 material
Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Salesforce finally connected the powerful Heroku cloud application platform to its own database layer on Tuesday with the release of the Heroku Connect tool. The move was promised last year when the company debuted its Salesforce1 mobile app, which was designed as a mobile one-stop shop for all of Salesforce’s various business application tools.Heroku and Force.com, the cloud computing platform as a service (PaaS) from Salesforce.com, represent two vastly different development systems based on completely different programming languages—but Salesforce now has a working bi-directional connection between them, in the form of the Heroku Connect Tool.Released only in beta form in 2013, Heroku Connect is now live for all Salesforce customers that want to integrate the capabilities of both platforms to build customer-friendly apps.Bridging The GapForce.com uses an object-oriented programming language called Apex, which was invented by Salesforce but incompatible with Heroku. This lack of synchronization became a major point of criticism when Salesforce purchased Heroku in 2010.Conversely, Heroku developers often build their apps with programming languages like Node.js, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Java, Go, and Python—but none of these languages are compatible within Salesforce’s native environment.Heroku Connect finally addresses this disconnection by allowing Heroku apps to sync with the Force.com database.In an interview with ReadWrite, Margaret Francis, senior director of product management at Heroku, said restaurant chain Red Robin has begun beta testing Heroku Connect and it has already built a customer loyalty mobile app using Heroku for the front end interface.Customers can interact with special offers in the app, for example, and the data gets synced back to Salesforce’s business process environment on the back end. Customer data flows from the Heroku-built user interface to business processes built with Force.com on the back end. anthony myers Related Posts Tags:#apex#cloud#developers#enterprise#Heroku#heroku connect tool#mobile#Open Source#Salesforce#salesforce1 Instead of a deep integration with Heroku, Salesforce customers can at least connect those apps to Salesforce without the need for extensive recoding, which is a potentially expensive and time-consuming affair. Salesforce knows it needs to show off tools like Heroku Connect to attract developers and convince them Force.com will work with popular Web toolkits like Node.js, Ruby on Rails and Java.In time, Salesforce may yet achieve a deeper level of integration with Heroku—but after four years, at least developers can connect the two worlds in a more seamless way. Developers need to be able to build apps quickly and at Web scale, and Heroku is one of Salesforce’s best weapons to allow them to do it.Heroku Connect is part of the Salesforce1 Connected Customer App Package, and pricing varies based on app usage.Lead image by Flickr user Danae Pollack under Creative Commons license How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting