Midlands Food Hero – Daniel Jardim

Yay! Daniel is on his way! Midlands residents are always delighted to hear that Daniel Jardim (ex-Buddhist Retreat Centre chef) is about to do one of his cooking demos at the home of Kim and Mike Ward in Hilton. Over many years, he has built up a loyal following but attracts new people every time too. Shelly Joseph says “I really appreciate that he is not trying to convert anyone. Just saying give it a go, you might enjoy this way of cooking.” Pippa Griffin adds “Daniel brings food alive for me. He is so expressive.”

Daniel’s way of cooking is a real celebration – of the seasons, of the produce and of course, family and friends. His mother, Mimi, a well-known cookery teacher in Johannesburg is his greatest inspiration. “I never thought he would be a cook but I am so pleased that he is. I have learnt so much from him and love that he brings his whole philosophy of life into his food.” Daniel laughs “I remember picking herbs from the garden to help my mom and being told that a couple of sprigs were not nearly enough. Now I have become my mother!” An abundance of fresh, flavourful and healing herbs are incorporated into all his dishes now.

Hot off the press, and cause for more celebration, is his inspiring recipe book Retreat – the Joy of Conscious Eating. Crammed with interesting vegetarian recipes that focus on what is plentiful in each season. This is the best way to eat, of course, as in-season plants are nutritionally dense and appropriate to nourish our bodies at that particular time of the year -our daily medicine. “It’s like Christmas four times a year” says Daniel enthusiastically, “I can’t wait for the asparagus season or the time when sweet potatoes are just perfect.” So while in general Spring is about renewal and Winter about restoration, he suggests you are guided by the weather each day to play with ingredients and cooking methods. Conscious eating is about connecting with gratitude to the food we eat and is a great tool for being in the moment. Food that embraces all our senses, celebrates the day, our families and the environment too. Naturally this food is seriously delicious.

Shelly loves the new book, “The peanut sauce is my absolute favourite recipe, I could eat it all day.”

Spinach is at its best in the cooler months, so use the new little leaves to make Daniel’s spring rolls and serve with the delicious Peanut and Ginger Sauce. Combine all these ingredients in a blender until smooth: 1 cup toasted, chopped peanuts; 1tbsp grated ginger; 1/3 cup water; 1/3 cup coconut milk; 45 ml soy sauce; 15ml lime juice; 10ml sesame oil; 2 cloves of garlic; 2 tbsp brown sugar; chopped dhania; cayenne pepper.

Food Hero Daniel Jardim by Sarah Schafer  ed141 jun14

Food Hero Daniel Jardim by Sarah Schafer. Supplied.