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Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Try Marlene van der Westhuizen’s Succulent and Easy Chocolate and Orange Cake

Secrets of a French Cooking ClassEat Out has shared Marlene van der Westhuizen’s recipe for Chocolate and Orange Cake, from her latest recipe book, Secrets of a French Cooking Class.

The recipe serves eight, and takes just 40 minutes to prepare. It contains two oranges 125 grams of dark chocolate. But although the results are impressive, Van der Westhuizen says it’s really easy to make.

“As I’m a notoriously ungifted pastry chef, sharing a home full of sweet-toothed men has made it necessary for me to have a couple of really simple cake recipes to fall back on,” says the author.

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Sea Bass with Avocado, Lemon and Crispy Capers: Try Marlene van der Westhuizen’s Recipe

Secrets of a French Cooking ClassMichael Olivier has shared a delicious recipe for Sea Bass with Avocado, Lemon and Crispy Capers from Marlene van der Westhuizen’s extraordinary cookbook, Secrets of a French Cooking Class.

“Sea bass is known for having mouth-wateringly succulent meat that is also excellent when grilled on an open fire. If you cannot get your hands on some sea bass, any firm, moist, white fish fillet will be perfect for use in this recipe,” Van der Westhuizen writes in introduction to the dish.

Secrets of a French Cooking Class was launched in Johannesburg last year and is available in Afrikaans as Geheime van ‘n Franse kookklas.

Olivier reccomends a Solms-Delta Rosé with this sea bass dish. Try the recipe:

Sea Bass with Avocado, Lemon & Crispy Capers

6 sea bass fillets
2 T capers
50 g butter
2 T fresh dill, chopped finely
salt and white pepper to taste
2 avocados
juice of 1 lemon

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Herman Mashaba to Present a Talk on Success at Carthage College in Wisconsin

Black Like YouHerman Mashaba, the author of Black Like You and one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs, will deliver a lecture about his life and career at Carthage College in Wisconsin.

Mashaba is part of the Chapman Executive-in-Residence programme which brings prominent business leaders to the campus to inspire students by sharing their tales of struggle and victory.

The presentation will take place on Monday, 9 February, at the Niemann Theater in the Hedberg Library and will begin at 5:30 for 6 PM.

The event is sponsored by the AW Clausen Center for World Business and the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University in Virginia.

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Gift of the Givers Founder Imtiaz Sooliman in Top 100 South African Newsmakers for 2014

Imtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the GiversImtiaz Sooliman has been named one of the top 100 headline makers in 2014 in a list compiled by The Star. Sooliman is the founder of the largest relief organisation in South Africa, Gift of the Givers.

Photojournalist Shafiq Morton captured his experiences with Gift of the Givers in his book, Imtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the Givers: A Mercy to All. Morton recently shared his most memorable experience with News24.

Gift of the Givers has conducted over 20 expeditions to countries in need, such as Bosnia, Palestine, Japan, Haiti, Indonesia, Malawi and Mozambique. In 2013 City Press also named Sooliman one of the 100 world class South Africans.

In 2014 Sooliman and the Gift of the Givers were responsible for the attempted rescue of Pierre Korkie who was being held captive by Al Qaeda in Yemen, after being seized along with his wife in May 2013. Korkie was shot and killed mere hours before he was to be released. Sooliman’s negotiations regarding Korkie was big news last year and most likely why he was one of The Star‘s top 100 newsmakers of 2014.

Read the article:

The Heroes category featured the 9-year-old ‘Save the Rhino’ campaigner Afeefah Patel who shot to fame two years ago after President Jacob Zuma responded to a letter she wrote to him requesting his assistance in saving the endangered rhino from rampant poaching.

It also named Imtiaz Sooliman, the founder of the internationally-renowned relief organisation ‘Gift of the Givers’ which has assisted in natural and man-made disasters such as war in myriad countries, including India and Pakistan

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Try Marlene van der Westhuizen’s Recipe for Peppers with Ricotta from Secrets of a French Cooking Class

Secrets of a French Cooking ClassThe Daily News shared an anecdote and a recipe for Peppers with Ricotta from Marlene van der Westhuizen’s recently launched cookbook, Secrets of a French Cooking Class.

Van der Westhuizen spoke at the Umhlanga launch of her book about her home in Charroux where she presents cooking courses four times a year. “We cook, we shop, we look at clothes and antiques and we might even go to the Vichy Opera House in France. I want them to experience what it is like to live in the medieval village of Charroux,” she said.

Van der Westhuizen is a writer, a traveller and a chef. She spoke about how her childhood nurtured her creativity and passion, her friendship with her husband, Deon, and her life before she took the plunge and started her cooking school in France.

Read the article and try Van der Westhuizen’s recipe for Peppers with Ricotta:

When I serve a main course on a platter, I like to use vegetables on a bed of greens to garnish the platter around the meat or chicken dish. These peppers can be halved and used to beautiful effect. It is a good idea to drizzle the peppers with a generous amount of excellent olive oil just before serving. This will help create an abundant, decadent look to the dish.

4 large red peppers

500g fresh ricotta

4 large eggs, beaten

1 T parsley, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 chilli, chopped

freshly ground nutmeg to taste

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Korkie Family Thank Imtiaz Sooliman and Gift of the Givers in Statement

Imtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the GiversYolande Korkie has released a statement following the death of her husband Pierre Korkie after a failed rescue attempt by the United States military.

Korkie was being held captive by Al Qaeda in Yemen, after being seized along with his wife in May 2013. Yolande Korkie was released in January after four days of intense negotiations by the Gift of the Givers Foundation.

Her husband, however, remained captive until his death this weekend.

In a statement, Yolande Korkie says she and her family have chosen to forgive Korkie’s killers. She also thanks the Gift of the Givers and Imtiaz Sooliman for their “passionate commitment and perseverance”, saying: “No obstacle was too big. You gave me a second chance to be with our children.”

Read the statement:

“WHY?” is the cry in many hearts: in our home, our city Bloemfontein, our country South Africa, our beloved Yemen and to the ends of the earth. I wish I had the answer. My heart is breaking not only for my children, family, and myself. But for all of you that travelled this road with us.

Pierre was a hostage of this situation for 558 days. Although we were separated in the flesh after 228 days when I was released, I remained with him in the spirit until the end. On 6 December 2014, my dearest friend and companion and godly daddy was torn from me and the children. The furnace of 19 months has been relentless and red hot. Thus I had to really think very hard and long for an appropriate approach in the face of this pain.

The New York Times reports that the US forces were unaware that the Gift of the Givers were working to release Korkie at the same time they launched an attempt to rescue his cellmate Luke Somers, an American photojournalist.

“The night before, I spent hours on the phone with Yolande to try to calm her down,” Sooliman told the New York Times. “I told her, ‘I’ll call you the moment Pierre is in our hands. She went to sleep with that good feeling in her heart.”

Mr Sooliman said Gifts of the Givers felt a moral obligation to help the Korkies — fellow South Africans in harm’s way in a country where the charity had deep ties. Although he said that the South African government had helped with diplomatic hurdles — such as issuing Mr Korkie a new passport — its policy of non-engagement meant that the charity was on its own in contacting the terrorist group.

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Marlene van der Westhuizen to Launch Secrets of a French Cooking Class at The Book Lounge

Book Launch: Secrets of a French Cooking Class


Secrets of a French Cooking ClassBookstorm and NB Publishers would like to invite you to the Cape Town launch of Secrets of a French Cooking Class by Marlene van der Westhuizen, with photography by Johan Wilke.

Van der Westhuizen will launch her new cookbook at The Book Lounge on Thursday, 4 December, at 5:30 PM. Secrets of a French Cooking Class is available in Afrikaans as Geheime van ’n Franse kookklas, from NB Publishers.

Van der Westhuizen celebrated her 50th cooking class in France this year. Come and join the chef and author as she speaks about the country and the food that inspired her latest cookbook.

Don’t miss it!

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Try Marlene van der Westhuizen’s Recipe for Cauliflower with Prosciutto

Secrets of a French Cooking ClassEat Out has shared a recipe for Cauliflower with Prosciutto from Marlene van der Westhuizen’s latest cookbook, Secrets of a French Cooking Class.

Van der Westhuizen, who recently launched her new cookbook at Love Books in Joburg, recommends serving this dish with pork or crispy roasted chicken.

Try the recipe for Cauliflower with Prosciutto:


200 g thinly sliced prosciutto
500 g florets of cauliflower
250 ml chicken stock
4 finely chopped garlic cloves
A handful of fresh chopped sage leaves


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Place the slices of prosciutto on a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes, or until completely crisp.

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Marlene van der Westhuizen Launches Secrets of a French Cooking Class at Love Books

Launch: Secrets of a French Cooking Class

Marlene van der Westhuizen launched her exciting new cookbook, Secrets of a French Cooking Class, at Love Books in Johannesburg recently.

The evening began with a book discussion between Van der Westhuizen and Bookstorm publisher and CEO Louise Grantham, and afterwards guests moved next door to a delicious three course dinner from Van der Westhuizen’s book, prepared by the Service Station. While the discussion was underway hungry guests snacked on delicious Onion Tartlets and Raite on Crostinis.

Launch: Secrets of a French Cooking ClassSecrets of a French Cooking ClassVan der Westhuizen, whose previous cookbooks Delectable and Delightful Desserts are also available from Bookstorm, is the proud owner of the Food Studio in Cape Town. She moves between Green Point and her home in the French village of Charroux. In 2013 she presented her 50th cooking class in France. “This is the first book where I felt that I understand what it feels like to live there,” she says. “It’s taken us 11 years to dig our heels in. It took me a very long time to feel like a local.”

Van der Westhuizen said the easy part of writing the book was bringing her feelings and experiences to the page. “I could really feel that I’m relating the truth to you,” she said. “The difficult part was to put a lid on it and not gush!”

The author explained how she began to give cooking classes in France, saying: “I didn’t just want to be a tourist in France, I wanted to cook there.” She used to walk through the marketplace and fall in love with the produce but she couldn’t prepare anything because she didn’t have a kitchen. That’s when she made an arrangement with her friends, who had a house in France. She would bring over a group of young chefs eager to learn and they would open their kitchen to her. The rest is history, and today she has her own house in Charroux which she visits about four times a year with her cooking classes. Van der Westhuizen is also Vice-Conseiller Culinaire Honoraire of the international culinary society Chaine des Rotisseurs.

Grantham asked how cooking in France changed Van der Westhuizen’s approach to cooking. “Slower, longer and a lot more plastered,” she quipped, before quoting Uys Krige, who said: “Life is only bearable if you’re slightly inebriated.”

Van der Westhuizen says October is one of her favourite times of the year because the figs, pears, apples and walnuts are falling from the trees, and said her recipes are not about being fancy but about using what you have available in season or what you can find at the markets. You won’t find more than six ingredients in any of her recipes, she added, and also emphasised the many similarities between French and South African food: “If you slam into your kitchen and start cooking without a recipe the food you’ll cook, if it’s not Thai, will be French.”

Van der Westhuizen explained the special binding of Secrets of a French Cooking Class – a deconstructed spine that allows the book to fall open on the table. This unencumbered cookbook is the perfect solution to her “pet hate of balancing a bottle of wine on one edge and a block of butter on the other to keep it open”. Secrets of a French Cooking Class is an organic, feel-good cookbook, with beautiful photography by Johan Wilke. Artist Susan Grundlingh painted an old table a different colour for each chapter of the book, to give each section a different feel.

The speakers wrapped up their discussion and dinner was served. Starting the culinary adventure was a Pea Soup with Fennel, served with Babette’s Baguettes. After starters guests made their way to the Harvest Table where they feasted on Green Salad with Anchovies, Beans with Mustard Dressing, Crisp Roasted Vegetables, Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad, Sirloin with Gremolata and Chicken with Olives and Courgettes. Dessert was mouthwatering Peaches in Red Wine and Port Served with Crème Fraiche, Apple Blinis and Chocolate and Walnut Cake. The Service Station and Love Books remained a full house well into the night, with Van der Westhuizen going from table to table, signing books, sharing her secrets and doing what she does best – inspiring greatness through good food.

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Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:


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Bookings Now Open for Marlene van der Westhuizen’s 2015 French Cooking Classes (Plus: Trailer)

Secrets of a French Cooking ClassMarlene van der Westhuizen, whose latest book, Secrets of a French Cooking Class, has just been published by Bookstorm, is based in Charroux, France – a beautiful town set in the rugged Auvergne region deep in the heart of Bourbonais near Vichy.

At her cottage in the centre of this medieval village, Van der Westhuizen offers incredible cookery classes where she teaches participants to cook (and enjoy!) delicious, classic local dishes. These classes are presented in the form of short courses which run for six days at a time and include various other activities, exposing you to the beauty of the French countryside.

Make your foodie dreams a reality and enrol for 2015′s classes, which include “Tulip and Thyme Spring Course” (5 May to 11 May) “Berries and Cream Mid-summer Course” (21 July to 27 July) and “Chestnut and Sage Early Autumn Course” (29 September to 5 October).

Find out more:

Cook’s tours in Charroux, Auvergne
For the past eight years streams of food enthusiasts have been visiting Bagatelle, the cottage in the center of the medieval village of Charroux. Here the huge old 35L Rosieres chef’s cauldron steams away in front of the window facing the cobbled street, with the odd Frenchman calling out a friendly ‘bon appetit’ as he passes by.
During the 6 day course we shop at the local food markets, cook wonderful brasserie luxe food which we enjoy around the huge hard-pear table in the kitchen or under the bay tree in the courtyard. We share long early morning walks, gentle bicycle rides, endless picnics as well as some antique hunting.

Watch the Secrets of a French Cooking Class trailer to discover the magical town of Charroux and learn the story behind the making of this beautiful book:

YouTube Preview Image

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