… and with Chef Cathy mosutlhane makes as great a salad aliment as any
When it comes to recipes, salads are still seem like an unlikely candidate to seek out. Salads are often viewed as that extra, thoughtless combination of fruits or vegetables that accompany the stars of the plate. Chef Cathy begs to differ.
With stunning food photography and individual salad recipes, culinary art student and chef, Ompelege Moreosele, who is better known as Chef Cathy, has new stories to tell and recipes to share in her latest book, “Life on a Salad.”
More than just a salad recipe book, “Life on a Salad” is a testament to Chef Cathy’s conviction that with the right mix of creativity, persistence and innovative thinking, anything is possible in today’s world.
“My new book is a glimpse into unique salad recipes that feature local foods in the salad mix,” she said in an interview. “There are mosutlhane, letlhodi and samp salads that Batswana are not even aware of. I was celebrating my native heritage with these recipes because I love telling the story of where I come from through food.”
Chef Cathy’s recipe book is an indispensable home cook and a remarkable resource for the serious cook or professional seeking the how and why of the chef’s culinary techniques and creative process. The recipe book is a series of salads and salad dressing recipes that she collected for the past four years of her culinary arts training.
“All the recipes have been tried and tested before as some were prepared during my exams at school and I experimented with some during in-service training at Marang Cresta Hotel since I was allowed to explore and bring my creativity into the kitchen,” the 28-year old Kalamare native said.
Between healthy fast-casual meals and upscale reinventions from top chefs, salads have come a long way. When it comes to recipes, though, they still seem like an unlikely candidate to seek out. Salads are often viewed as that extra, thoughtless combination of fruits or vegetables that accompanies the stars of the plate, but Chef Cathy begs to differ. This is where her recipe book comes in to suggest interesting ways to layer new flavours, pair textures and finally try out new produce to toss into the salad bowl.
“The salads and salad dressing recipes in my book are doable, packed with flavour and the ingredients are accessible. Some salads can be served as a main dish, an accompaniment, a dessert or whatever a salad aficionado is trying to explore,” she said.
As a last year vocational student at Gaborone Technical College, Chef Cathy also wants to show the world that vocational education is also important. She urges the nation to do away with the stereotype surrounding technical training as there is a job market that caters to handy jobs.
“I also want to encourage upcoming youths to choose culinary arts and educate themselves on career opportunities available. What we do is not for people who did not do well at senior school because most of us are driven by passion and opportunities surrounding the profession,” she pointed out.
Chef Cathy developed a passion for cooking from her grandmother who taught and passed some of her recipes down to her. The Chef enjoyed spending time cooking-kneading the dough for magwinya (fat cakes) and peeling potatoes for her grandmother who was a famous cook in the village of Kalamare back in the day. Her plans after school are to open a fine restaurant that offers traditional food with a modern twist.
“Life on a Salad” was published in May 2020 and a copy sells for P230 each. Currently the book is only available from the author but it will soon be available in bookstores.