Read of the Week


Tony Jackman

Human & Rousseau

Review: Karen Watkins

This cookbook is a memoir, a life story, punctuated by recipes. Tony Jackman is a writer, elbowing his way into journalism, initially as shipping editor, then as an arts writer and even an occasional restaurateur, which provides the basis for this book. He writes about the culture of food and the ingredients that go into it.

Born in Yorkshire, this is where he started to cook – see the recipe for Yorkshire puddings, learnt from his dad and cousin, Molly. His relationship with his dad is complex although Tony says he was not a bad cook.

Now, aged 62, he is loving life and, at a book launch at Buitenverwachting on June 8, said he was three days away from being the age his dad was when he died.

Tony scoffs at vegetariab2

ns but no matter the book is as delicious to read as the recipes inside it.

Tony has lived in many places, including Oranjemund, “the town built on a green eye and a callous heart.

Where giant yellow Caterpillars with wheels the size of houses tear up the earth in search of diamonds that stud the tempting dirt”.

He had a choppy childhood. At high school in Sea Point he spent more time being truant, a symptom of being bullied.

He has lived in Sutherland where he had a restaurant for two years, in Cradock, Grahamstown and then back to Cradock – one of Olive Schreiner’s town’s – which led him to write plays about her. He presently lives in Grahamstown.

And so it’s no wonder that Karoo lamb is his meat. At the launch, Tony praised Buitenverwachting’s chef Edgar Osojnik, for his version of Obies Oxtail Potjie – made with two stout oxtails from a portly cow, red wine and Old Brown Sherry.

Other sections include “Forlorn dogs and food for the soul”, “Vanilla hubcaps and cardamom dreams”, “Hantam tassies”, “Pariah parsnips and purple rain”.

And then there’s “dinner at the end of the line” – no – don’t turn to page 209. Ok, you did, you found three recipes: lamb shank with thyme, oregano, lemon and minted yogurt.

And two desserts, both using chocolate, the tart is “the last taste on the palate, creamy, luscious and soothing. Chocolate can take your mind off almost anything. Even the looming end of everything.”

Published by Annake Müller with photography by Myburgh du Plessis and styling by Sarah Dahl, Foodstuff will inspire you and has something for everyone.