THE FRIENDLY KITCHEN
Jackie Cameron, executive chef at Hartford House in KwaZulu-Natal and a judge in the Sunday Times Chef of the Year competition, tells us how green her kitchen grows
Going green in the kitchen means saving electricity wherever you can, thus reducing your fuel consumption and carbon footprint. Here are 10 tips for the environmentally conscious cook:
1. Take everything you need out of the fridge at one time before you start cooking so that you are not constantly opening and closing the fridge. This interrupts temperature control and uses more energy, as well as adversely affecting the quality of refrigerated ingredients.
2. Use a hand-operated whisk whenever you can, rather than a food processor or electric beater. Getting involved with preparation in this way uses elbow grease, which is better for you as well as the environment.
3. Always heat a pan or pot before adding anything to it, as this will reduce the cooking time by half.
4. When you need boiling water at home to do something quick like blanching beans or asparagus, save time and electricity by first boiling water in a kettle, then adding it to a hot pot, rather than waiting for cold water to boil on the stove.
5. Serve food immediately rather than wasting electricity by keeping it hot on a warming tray or in the warming oven.
6. Use lids, or if pots do not have lids, cover the pot with plastic wrap or foil to retain heat and get the liquid bubbling quicker.
7. Don't leave water running. This is hugely wasteful. When washing dishes, wash and rinse in two different sinks or prep bowls.
8. Switch off ovens while they are not in use.
9. Get into the habit of using different bins for recycling paper, glass, vegetable waste and so on.
10. Start your own wormery to make compost from vegetable scraps. If you don't have the space or have a worm phobia, donate your vegetable waste to someone's compost heap.
LAST CHANCE TO ENTER:
CHEF OF THE YEAR (first prize R50000, second R15000, third R5000) is open to professional chefs over 30.
YOUNG CHEF OF THE YEAR (first prize R20000, second R5000, third R2000) is open to chefs from 25 to 30.
JUNIOR CHEF OF THE YEAR (first prize R10000, second R2000, third R1000) is open to chefs under 25.
STALWART OF THE KITCHEN(first prize R10000, plus R1000 for each finalist) is open to cooks and chefs over the age of 35 who have never entered a competition. This is for those whose work forms the backbone of the kitchen. They do not need a professional qualification.
HOW TO ENTER:
. Entries must be received by September 14
. Finalists will be notified bySeptember 21
. The finals will take place at Foodcorp's The 7th Floor in Cape Town, from October 2 to 4
For full details, rules, guidelines, lists of required ingredients and entry forms, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/sundaytimeschefoftheyear