cooking and laughter


No of Trips: 1

Jade de Waal

Jade is a bundle of infectious energy - she is so passionate about her Food Jams and the recipes, music and stories she tells, as well as bringing locals and travellers together.

"I learnt to cook by reading a lot of cookbooks and watching videos and experimenting and working in different restaurants. I am very curious and was inspired from a young girl by different cooking styles and techniques.  My parents were fantastic cooks – very avante garde for the time. My grandmother and Winnie Mandela were good friends."

"My friends wanted to learn how to cook and when they came to our Food Jam they loved it and kept telling me how different it was. It is an exhilarating experience and I wanted to share it with new people. I get all my ingredients from local suppliers – the Fillipi farmers – they supply 40% of Cape Town vegetables."

"When I was at school I made a cookbook, self-published it – and then I held my first Food Jam in Feb 2010 and it grew from there. Music is a big part of what we do.  I am a saxophonist in a band and often play at the Food Jam"


What is special about your experience?

When people come to my home I find out a little bit about them and combine that with African stories, fables and stories about Cape Town,  to inspire me when I design the recipes we are going to make together.  It's powered by the people I meet – I research people and the influences they like and imagine stories that they will love.

At Food Jam the recipes change every single time – its dynamic and unique.  It’s called a social jam – it’s a mix of locals and travellers where you can meet new people in a relaxed environment.  At Food Jam it’s about the experience – I take the South African dish, the flavours and the story, and I turn it a little on its head.  It’s a South African remix, flavours we are familiar with, I take it and I mix with the North or the East coast and I bring all the influences together to create a dish.

The music is a big part of the experience, it takes the guests through a journey – I work with local dj’s – 4 hours of music – we start with the music – every day is a different sound and then we create the recipes.  Sometimes guests bring their own music – I love listening to new music.

Rule number 1 is keep ourselves hydrated at all times

Rule number 2 is to have music playing in the kitchens at all times, anyone can be the DJ

I love cooking on and in the fire – I use a lot of fire techniques and I love vegetables – I have been inspired by a lot of local Cape Town chefs.  I love foraging and using local produce.

Some of my favourite foods are Bobotie, I love kimchi, soups and broths.  I use spekboom (elephant foot tree) which is really really tasty and grows wild in Cape Town and there are many ways to use it, combined with ingredients from Xhosa culture.

What is your favourite thing about your city?

I love the extreme diversity of Cape Town, from the cradle of the Mountain, to the furthest part of Cape Town, to Khayelitsha and Stellenbosch – such different landscapes. I would go the highest point on Table Mountain and the lowest point is the ocean - from the CBD drive all around to Camps Bay to Cape Pointe along Chapman's Peak – in between you will see so much.

My mum runs a fantastic home away from home called In Awe Stays– designed by local artists, her home is in the middle with apartments around the outside with the most amazing views of Cape Town. The kitchen is the centre of the whole place.

Best place to take a photo – Cape Town has these frames where you can take a photo with amazing backgrounds – my favourite is the one showing the graffiti of Nelson Mandela and Table Mountain in the background.

Jade-de-waal's Experiences