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Chefs make the cut when it comes to class

) To Derick Theron, executive chef,nothing beats the facial expression of a person who enjoys a bite of his food.

“Life is all about making people happy and I found a way to do it. There is nothing that motivates me like a happy customer. You cannot buy that,” Derick says.

He received his training at the HTA School of Culinary Art in Randburg and worked in several restaurants in Nelspruit before joining The Beef Baron Grillhouse.

He says the most important utensil in the kitchen is fellow staff members.

“It is all about teamwork, otherwise we will never get the job done.”

The Beef Baron Grillhouse is all about the meat. Derick loves a good steak, especially rump.

On his speciality dish, he says: “I am still looking for it. It is a journey every chef takes.”

In the kitchen, it is all about preparation, he says.

The Beef Baron Grillhouse is more than just a restaurant.

“We are here to create an experience, so come and enjoy a special night at our restaurant.

) Ntswaki Mapotje, sous chef, is inspired by her mother’s cooking.

“I still use my mom’s recipes. I love her stew and I always suggest that we serve ginger pudding, which my mother taught me how to make,” Ntswaki says.

She studied at the Motheo TVET College in Bloemfontein and then went to Clarens, where she met Bruce Weyer.

“He taught me everything I know about cooking.”

She worked at several restaurants in Clarens before she came to The Beef Baron Grillhouse three years ago.

Her favourite ingredients are garlic and mixed herbs, of which she loves the smell.

To her, the most important utensil is her knife.

“It is a small knife and I always carry it with me in the kitchen.”

She is proud of the way she cooks the sole and the Natal lamb curry and says the key to a balanced, attractive plate is how you combine the different elements.

Her motto in life is that she always wants to be happy.

) For Bushy Mokoena, sous chef, there is nothing as satisfying as a diner’s plate coming back to the kitchen empty.

“Food is art and I prepare it with passion,” he says.

Bushy received training at the Protea Hotel in Bloemfontein. He started as a cleaner and was gradually introduced to the kitchen.

He has been at The Beef Baron Grillhouse since 2014.

Bushy loves the aroma of oxtail when it is being prepared.

“I do not put too many in­gredients in it. It must be tra­ditional.”

His favourite dish to cook is soup.

“I will definitely recommend our soup of the day to customers, whether it is Mexican, Mediterranean or seafood.”

Bushy enjoys interacting with customers and loves feedback.

“I want to know about the mistakes, to rectify it.”

Cooking is part of Bushy’s everyday life, even when he is not at work.

“On Friday I make soup for a school near my house and I enjoy cooking at home,” he says.

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