It’s the new year and a lot of us have put some goals in place to work through and achieve. If one of your goals is to follow your heart or your passion, perhaps you need to take a look at passionate foodie and Chef, Nadia Adams. Her food journey gives us an honest look into pursuing our passions, and shares how rewarding it is when your food dreams become your reality.
Nadia Adams’ passion for food was honed and nurtured by her Mom’s home cooking, “There was never a day without cooking,” shares Nadia. Her Mom’s inspiration led to Nadia knowing the direction to go in her career. Some of Nadia’s go to advice is from what her Mom has instilled in her, “Always cook with a clean happy heart. She taught me to respect the tummies that I was about to fill. This has grown on me, so I will never serve you something I would not serve myself,” Nadia shares.
Having started her food career from the very bottom as a student, Nadia has learnt from many people and worked hard to be recognised for her talent, food products, catering and ideas. “My journey has been an interesting one. It began with the luxury of attending the best culinary school Durban could offer and with that training, it opened many doors of experience in local and international hotels and restaurants. Last year, I started my own food convoy company ‘Fudart’. Since then, I have a kitchen consulting company that assists with menu design as well as owns/runs a 7-day production kitchen that produces food for restaurants to resell without the hassle of building a kitchen or training staff. We also provide catering for intimate functions, and pop up dining in the form of lunches, food markets and exhibitions. The pop up dining, ‘Fudart STReatery’, was conceived because I had planned to eventually launch an upmarket street food bistro truck,” shares Nadia.
Nadia takes a step-by-step recall of how she got started in the food industry and some of the lessons she learnt along the way. “I have a great passion for my industry, and my career, so starting a business in the food industry was natural. I knew to expect hard work, long hours and humid kitchens but that was all okay, because I would get to control my flavours, express myself and be myself. I soon learned that I don’t control that, the customer does. I have learned to be flexible towards the changes in food trends whilst offering a ‘value for money’ option to the customer. The economy is suffering so people are watching every penny, and you need to be able to change your product accordingly all the time. Cooking with fresh ingredients and offering niche products is not the cheapest route and therefore not an easy business to grow rapidly. People tend to turn to the cheapest, mass produced products because they will gain from a higher profit. I will however, continue to try and provide quality products and not drop standards,” shares Nadia.
Nadia Adams’ food journey shows us how determination, a bucket load of passion for what you are doing and the ability to adapt helps with achieving dreams and goals. So, as we go on our merry pursuits to accomplish our dreams and goals, always remember that hard work truly does pay off and our pursuits might not be easy to start. Let your passion get you through the ‘hard times’ and keep your end goal in mind! BECAUSE it’s so rewarding when it becomes real!
Continue reading below to find out more about Nadia, and find her summery Watermelon, Black Pepper Chevin and Tomato Salad recipe.
1. What is your favourite meal to cook at home?
Asian influenced Noodles with seasonal veg, my protein of choice- loads of oyster sauce, ginger, Chilli, garlic, basil and coriander
2. What advice would you like to give budding chefs or food obsessed home cooks like myself?
Use the best freshest ingredients you can whenever you can. It makes the difference. A simple pasta can taste amazing with just a squeeze of fresh lemon, Garlic, Chilli, fresh Basil and Olive Oil.
3. What is your favourite kitchen appliance?
Large: Ice cream machine
Small tool: Spatula… It’s easy to hold and gets into all those hard to reach places of a bowl that reduces wastage
4. What is your motto in the kitchen?
Respect food! Keep your area and yourself clean. Treat ingredients with respect. Love what you do and the person on the receiving end of your plate will too!
5. Who is your chef hero?
Michel Roux Jnr
6. Complete this sentence: I believe food is………….
Is the element that brings everything together. It can bring a family or friends to the table at any occasion. It brings emotions to your taste buds and your brain. It completes special occasions such as weddings and birthdays. It’s fun! It’s social! It’s inspiring!
Watermelon, Black Pepper Chevin and Tomato Salad
1 cup of Watermelon (balls with a melon baller)
1/2 log of Black Pepper Chevin sliced
1 tblspn of fresh Mint leaves finely sliced (chiffonade)
1 tblspn of fresh Basil finely sliced
1/2 lemon – juiced
1 cup of Rosa Tomatoes halved (mixed variety would be more exciting)
Season with Himalayan pink salt, sugar/xylitol and freshly ground Black Pepper
Toss everything and serve topped with sliced Chevin and Roasted Seeds or Seeded Crackers