gourmet magazine and a couple of vegetable dishes on the side

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Gourmet Magazine

American Gourmet magazine was one of my favourite food magazines and a great source of inspiration to me in my early food styling career. I used to take back issues out from the Sea Point library, gaze at the exquisite images and hope that one day I would be able to create something that looked like them. The magazines were often well worn and dog eared, but I didn’t mind, the pages were filled with so much aspiration, I was transported to another far more glamorous world around food.

Gourmet was started in 1941 and was the first US publication dedicated to food and wine. The styling was unique and edgy and stood out from all other food magazines in the world.

I scanned a few of the images that I loved at the time so that I could refer to them later on for inspiration, and here are some that I found.

Gourmet Magazine

Gourmet Magazine

I was utterly devastated when I heard the news that the magazine was closing down at the end of 2009. A decline in advertising revenue and a change in the way readers consumed food media are the reasons for its demise. Part of me still mourns this loss.

Conde Nast Independent magazines South Africa was established in 1997 under the licence of Conde Nast International and has multiple magazine titles under its banner including Glamour, GQ and House and Garden. Last year they launched the first edition of Conde Nast – House & Garden- Gourmet magazine -a bi-annual publication.

I was giddy with excitement when I was commissioned to style the food for the cover of the second edition – Autumn / Winter 2013.

The magazine is on the shelf now and filled to the brim with inspiring food and lifestyle stories to keep you cosy through the winter months.

The cover features a whole cauliflower which speaks to a growing trend where vegetables are taking centre stage and becoming the feature of a dish. I have to say as a vegivore, this makes me extremely happy.

It was a privilege to work with the fantastic team on the cover shoot. Bernadette Le Roux- food editor, Martin Jacobs – art director, Juliette Arrighi De Casanova on props, and Russell Smith the behind the camera.

We shot this late last year when cauliflowers weren’t in season, so I had my work cut out trying to source one as big as the one that was needed. I was also rather proud of the bone in, trimmed beef roast I prepared, but this was given less of a starring role.

The shoot took place at the Gilles Botbyl gallery in Gardens where the team transformed a small corner to create this dramatic picture.

Looking back on the last 5 years of my new career around food creativity, this was indeed a highlight.

Dreams do come true.

Gourmet Magazine cover shoot - behind the scene

And since we are celebrating vegetables, I thought I would include 2 nice recipes.

warm salad of roasted radish and fennel

warm salad of roasted fennel and radish with lemon

in July 2011 I decided to round up a few of my favourite vegetable side dish recipes, and bizarrely this post has become and remained one of my most popular posts on this blog. I have decided to keep it updated with some of my more recent favourite side dish recipes, and here are two more.

I was keen to see how radish would taste when roasted. It goes so beautifully with fennel in a salad, so decided to give this a bash. I often find that in Winter a warm salad is preferable to a cold one. It’s just more comforting.

To make this, roughly chop fennel and radishes to more or less equal thickness. This all depends on the size of the vegetables you have. Drizzle over olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in a 200 C / 400 F oven for about 25 – 30 minute until the fennel just starts to take on some colour.

Serve either warm or cold with another drizzle of olive oil, a spritz of lemon juice, salt and pepper and some finely chopped fennel/dill tips.

bean stir fry

green and black bean stir fry with red pepper

This recipe comes from Jill Dupleix’s book – ‘good cooking’ (published by Quadrille 2005), and was sent to me by my friend Sonia as a good one to try using two types of beans. I had never used fermented/salted black beans before, so loved trying this recipe out.

Recipe | serves 4 as a side dish

  • 2 T salted/fermented black beans
  • 2 – 3 cm piece of ginger – peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 300g fine green beans
  • 1 red pepper cut into julienne strips
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic – crushed
  • 1/2 small red chilli finely sliced or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 T Chinese rice wine or Mirin
  • 1t sesame oil
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1t cornflour mixed with 1 T water
  • Jasmine or basmati rice and  fresh coriander leaves to serve

Soak the beans in cold water for 10 minutes and then drain.

Trim the stalk ends off the beans, cut the ginger into matchsticks and the red pepper into julienne strips.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the green beans and red pepper for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water,  and pat dry on a clean tea towel.

Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the ginger, chilli and garlic briefly, then add the green beans and pepper and toss around for about 2 – 3 minutes over high heat. Add the black beans, rice wine, soy and sesame oil and cook all for another minute or so.

Add the cornflour – water mix and toss through until the sauce thickens slightly.

Serve with steamed basmati or jasmine rice and fresh coriander leaves.


I look forward to connecting with you Visit my Drizzle and Dip Facebook page to get updates of all my posts.

I can also be found enthusiastically pinning beautiful food Pinterest.  



  1. SO proud of you friend – how stunning!

  2. Congratulations, what an accomplishment! Beautiful photos. I love your vegetable dishes too – the green beans look very enticing!

  3. Carolie de Koster says:

    Wow! This is stunning! You are a busy girl with lots of new ideas to share every day!


  4. Thankks Laura

  5. Great vover photo! And the light blue plate from Milnerton market is a star with the beans.

  6. I have issues of Gourmet dating back to 1998 – will never part with them. Your beautiful photos are an inspiration..

  7. Tanks Kiran 🙂

  8. Kim Porter says:

    I can completely relate to your feelings toward Gourmet. When I received a letter stating they were no longer publishing the remainder of my subscription, I felt something akin to grief. I still keep my magazines close at hand for reference. Gourmet seemed to be the first and only magazine to offer this level of stunning photography and incredible stories of international destinations and cuisines. I really enjoyed reading your post today and sincerely congratulate you on this accomplishment. I cannot wait to read the Autumn / Winter issue.

  9. HI Kim, thanks so much and glad you enjoyed. Oh what I would give to get my hands on the last 3 years copies of the mag. *sigh*.

  10. Wow Shani, you are very lucky, keep them stored in a dark cool place :-). Wish I could pop over and have a browse through.

  11. Well spotted Elamrie, the blue plate from MM has indeed made its debut on D & D 🙂

  12. Janice Tripepi says:

    I think that I could eat a bowl of these beans as a meal – all my favourite flavourings in one – with beans! Winner! xxx jan

  13. Hi Sam. So you’ll be happy to know that SA’s Gourmet may be going quarterly from next year. Great post. Thank you.

  14. Hi Bern, what awesome news xx

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