Member of the Month September 2017: Bell Laity

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th October 2017

Here at The Staff Canteen, we felt it would be a great idea to show our appreciation to our loyal users, so to honour this we will be featuring a different member every month who we think deserves to be celebrated - this month’s winner is Bell Laity.

As a member who regularly contributes to our site via the app Chef+, Bell will receive a copy of Semplice by Dino Joannides and The Staff Canteen mug.

Pickled octopus, brioche, chorizo, creamed feta by Bell Laity

Pickled octopus, brioche,

chorizo, creamed feta

Current place of work, position and a brief overview of where you have worked before.

I am currently running a small brasserie in Cape Town. My love affair with food and the industry started in 2012. I wanted to be a forensic anthropologist but the calling to cook outweighed that. (It’s probably where my fondness for stocks came from!) I’m stoked that it’s the road I chose. I’ve worked extensively with an incredible chef for the last five years who has taught me a lot of what I know now. I gave fine dining a bash, but I would say refined Bistro fare is where my heart lies.

What is your cooking style and what can people expect from the food on your menu?

I would say that I have a simplistic approach to food. Ingredients, if treated with respect and integrity, speak for themselves. I wouldn’t say I’m a classic cook, as weird and wonderful combinations excite me. As much as I enjoy eating other exotic yumminess, I focus my food around sustainability and what is locally available. What can you expect on my menu? Food that I hope fills you with as much joy in eating it, as I had in preparing it. Think Bistro with flare!

What do you like about The Staff Canteen app and website?

The Staff Canteen - what a rad concept! I have gotten so much inspiration from many talented chefs that utilize the Chef Plus app. As a young whipper snapper (in culinary years), the advantage of being able to draw so much from its members has been invaluable.

Lime cured lulash, lardo, peanut, white chocolate by Bell Laity

Lime cured lulash, lardo,

peanut , white chocolate

What is your favourite dish to cook?

Being a chef in a country where two oceans meet, amazing seafood is at my disposal. Hake has got to be one of the most underrated ingredients in my opinion. Not only is it tasty and versatile but it falls into the sustainability aspect, that is very close to my heart. But let me tell you, the farmed trout from Franschhoek blows my mind.

Guilty pleasure: list food item / dish / ingredient that aren’t considered ‘cheffy’ but you love to eat

Chilli poppers! What’s not to love? A feta stuffed Jalapeno pepper, breaded with panko and fried to golden deliciousness. Throw in an ice cold pint, and I’m a happy camper. Typical South African.

What are your plans for the future?

Not entirely sure what the future holds for me. One thing I know for sure is that I’m not nearly done learning. Maybe a stage in the UK, or an incredible opportunity on home soil – we’ll see. The world is my oyster, as the saying goes - ‘Die Wereld wag vir niemand nie’.

Do you want to be the next Member of the Month? Download the app now for free and start sharing your images, videos and recipes and interacting with other members to be in with a chance of winning!

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th October 2017

Member of the Month September 2017: Bell Laity