Renowned chef and restaurateur Liam Tomlin and his team have launched a selection of bespoke recipe cards featuring a range of easy-to-make dishes, all created by the head chefs of his iconic restaurants in Cape Town.
The limited-edition recipe cards cost R250 per set and can be purchased at any of Liam’s restaurants.
The sale of which go towards the Chefs Warehouse MIND YOUR BACKS initiative, which helps support young aspiring chefs from underprivileged backgrounds.
MIND YOUR BACKS
Launched before COVID, Mind Your Backs began as an initiative to address mental health challenges and provide support to those in the restaurant industry.
“Pre-COVID I was setting up a foundation called MIND YOUR BACKS, it was a registered company with board members, with a whole medical side set up and of course, Covid came around and it changed the landscape of the foundation and we had to put it on the backburner for a while. ”
“The organization focused on mental health within the restaurant industry and aimed to provide much-needed assistance to individuals within this space. Before covid, we had situations in our kitchens and front of house where individuals were dealing with alcoholism, drugs, depression and anxiety. With many of them not able to afford access to the necessary medication and assistance, it bothered me and as a result, I decided to create MIND YOUR BACKS, ”adds Liam.
COVID threw a spanner in the wheel and a poignant event led the organization to make a shift in focus and initiative.
In memory of Mark Mbotya
When restaurants were allowed to operate after the hard lockdown, one of the integral Chefs Warehouse team members tragically passed away in a car accident. Mark Mbotya was a young chef that worked side by side with Ivor Jones for three years at Beau Constantia and the loss left the teams devastated.
In paying homage to Mark, Liam decided to relaunch MIND YOUR BACKS with a focus on assisting young aspiring chefs that are not able to afford formal education and training.
Applications for the internship started with a whopping 480 individuals who all underwent a rigorous interview process.
“In the end, we took on 13 young kids from various types of backgrounds, from kids on the street, kids who sex trafficked, kids who have been abused and kids who come from very poor backgrounds. In the last round of interviews, we interviewed the selected candidates with a parent / guardian. I knew that we would have fall-out from the selected 13 as there is a curve to adapting to restaurant life and we have been left with 7 young amazing students. ”
The participating students undergo a three-year apprenticeship by working for six months at a time at the restaurants owned by Liam Tomlin including Beau Constantia, Thali and more.
“At the end of it we guarantee them a full-time job and if they decide to move on afterwards, we help them in that process,” says Liam. “We have made serious life changes and these kids have only been with us for 9 months and I can see a change in them from the time I interviewed them to now, how their confidence, ambition and more has grown from the start until now. ”
The recipe cards
The recipe cards come in a gift pack of 6 recipes. In the first set, there is a recipe from Liam Tomlin, Ivo jones, David Schneider, Nate Coe, Braam Beyers and Killian Zietsman.
Each recipe card features a signature simple dish, from Liam’s famous frittata to Ivor’s beloved creme custard and more.
While the internship has received support from several brands in the form of knives, shoes and clothes for the students, the sale of these cards will help bolster the program and assist in covering necessary costs and added expenses.
“On each card, there are a few words from each of the chefs on what MIND YOUR BACKS means to them and why they got involved with the cause. Once we have sold out of the first set we will create set two which will feature recipes from the sous chefs of the restaurants, set three will be by pastry chefs, set four with sommeliers and set five and eventually when we have enough material I plan to put it into a book. ”
To get your hands on these recipe cards, visit one of the Chefs Warehouse restaurants!