Arno has been a dedicated member of our culinary team for many years and is relishing his role in our new venture, which makes wellness and healthy eating effortless. Arno is the visionary behind our delicious food that can be delivered safely to your door. We enticed Arno away from the stove to find out more about the man behind our menu.
“Being a chef is not a job but a passion”.
Arno Boshoff, executive chef at The Forum Kitchen
The Forum Kitchen is an exciting new venture that shines the spotlight on wellness and healthy eating. Tell us what motivates you to get into your kitchen every day?
My team in the kitchen gets me going. They all have excellent skills, but learning new recipes and developing ideas is a collaborative effort and great teamwork inspires me.
Then obviously, food. Every order we deliver is an event, and the attention to taste, textures and presentation is what motivates me on a personal level.
As the head chef at The Forum Kitchen, you are under pressure to create a selection of different fresh meals each week. Tell us where you get your inspiration?
I’m energised by simple, sustainable, seasonal and local food, executed to restaurant or The Forum’s standards. Sometimes our food-appreciating clients don’t want to cook - so I’m able to offer them a solution and deliver safely to them.
Everything on the Fresh Meals menu is delicious - what dishes have resonated with your clients -which recipes have been the most popular so far?
Revenge Bread and Butter Pudding
Asian Pressed Pork Belly
Pumpkin, Lentil, Brussels Sprout, Cranberry Charred Goats Cheese Salad
Decadent Dark Chocolate Torte with Jasmine’s Chocolate Sauce
Citrus Braised Beef
All our Lasagnas
Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
Baby Marrow, Mint and Pine Nut, Lentil Bake
Mushroom, Lentil and Nut vegan Meat Loaf
What are your favourite ingredients, and why?
Any fresh herbs from my garden. I cannot cook with dried herbs! Currently, my favourite herb is oregano.
I also choose to work with interesting seasoning and spices like homemade dukkah, za’atar, sumac, ras el hanout, fresh ginger and organic honey.
The Forum Kitchen has a Deli offering - to keep pantries, fridges and store cupboards stocked up. Which three fresh items are always in your fridge? What non-perishables are always in your pantry?
In my fridge, I always have eggs, basil pesto and a selection of tomatoes.
Essential non-perishables are 00 stone-ground flour for my homemade pasta, dried chickpeas, barley and lentils.
You have a bakery item named after you - Chef Arno’s Packed Health Loaf.
Tell us how you came up with this recipe.
The vision behind this bread was to create a loaf that is healthy but not boring. I love fruit cake hence the addition of raisins which are also good for gut health. I also love the taste of nutty wheat, which is the base of the loaf and to add extra flavour I included sweet spices like clove and cinnamon. The loaf incorporates organic yoghurt, which is another ingredient for a sound biome and keeps the dough moist.
Do you have a sweet tooth? If you had to choose between the Classic Lemon Tart or Sticky Toffee Pudding - which would you choose and why?
I absolutely have a sweet tooth! Chocolate in any form is my downfall. I wish I could only live on sweets!
The Sticky Toffee Pudding and our toffee sauce and perhaps a scoop of our peanut butter ice cream just because I can.
You have introduced a Brunch menu where clients can choose from three different quiches - Salmon & Spinach; Three Cheese, Dukkah & Butternut; or Bacon & Leek, what is your secret to the perfect pastry?
Firstly, all the ingredients have to be carefully measured. Our dough only has four ingredients: Stoneground flour, butter, water and salt. The butter must be cut into cubes to incorporate equally, and we use ice-cold water from the fridge. I even add a cube of ice when it’s warm. It is very important to never over mix your dough. The minute you can pull the dough together – it’s done. Also, your dough has to rest for at least half an hour.
We always have offcuts from the dough, and a big mistake people make is to bundle the leftovers into a ball. That’s wrong. My advice is to layer the rolled out offcuts on top of each other – cool it down and roll it out like that for your next pastry experience.
Clients can order Mooberry farm fresh eggs - what is your favourite way to prepare eggs for brunch?
I believe eggs are one of the best sources of energy, and I tend to eat a lot of them. For me, I think there is nothing more gratifying than fluffy scrambled eggs. Always whisk the eggs until light and fluffy and add a touch of mustard. Set your stove to low heat for your pan. I never use a whisk. I prefer to use a soft rubber spatula. Add a good dollop of organic double thick yoghurt at the end.
Great coffee is essential to brunch - Clients can now order CARICO Bududa Classica biodegradable pods - how do you take your coffee?
By the gallon – black and no sugar.
You have developed a range of fresh pasta, pesto and sauces for The Forum Kitchen - fresh Napolitana is always a great standby - share other ways to use this.
Grilled fish baked in a Napolitana with loads of fresh herbs and a dash of white wine.
A slice of our pastry chef Jasmine’s full rye bread toasted with smashed avocado, fresh basil and a drizzle of warm Napolitana makes a perfect snack.
You only use fresh, local produce - and where possible, include immune-boosting ingredients. We all know that Chicken Soup is a cure-all for winter colds and sniffles - what makes your Immune Booster Chicken & White Bean Soup the ultimate comfort food.
What I tried to accomplish with this soup was to incorporate all the immune booster elements of ginger, garlic, herbs and chicken stock, to make a complete meal that does not require anything else. I included chicken poached in the actual chicken stock. I added white beans which are LOW GI to help regulate blood sugar levels and therefore maintain energy levels for a longer period of time. A bowl of this soup is really substantial, and you don’t get the munchies like I normally have after eating just soup for dinner.
If you were gifting a meal to someone self-isolating - what would you send?
Our range of Pestos & Dips
Arno’s Health Loaf
Fudgy White Chocolate Blondies
Cheese & Rosemary Thins
Do you have a secret food indulgence - share this with us.
Don’t shoot me but I love mayonnaise!
My favourite is mayonnaise & banana on rye bread! Then I would say Lasagne and Greek salad which is one of my best-loved meals.