Foodies, get Served by passionate Zaba

Main course was chicken with asparagus spears served with fried chickpeas with rosemary and limes.
Main course was chicken with asparagus spears served with fried chickpeas with rosemary and limes.
Image: Londiwe Dlomo

There's a very famous movie with the premise that everybody can cook.

Most people don't believe this, but I feel it should be tweaked to say that those who are passionate about food and love it can cook. I could witness this with 30-year-old Zabanguni Gumede.

Zaba, as she's known, invited me to sit down and experience her passion project Served.

It was a warm October afternoon and inside the venue, Poolside in Maboneng Precinct, the heat was beating down, but the white walls were reflecting light and providing much needed coolness.

Over conversations about brewing kambucha and the various fermented foods in our culture, Gumede bustled in the kitchen cooking up a sampler menu.

Zaba Gumede is a self-taught cook and does private events for limited number of individuals.
Zaba Gumede is a self-taught cook and does private events for limited number of individuals.
Image: SUPPLIED

On offer on the day was a watermelon red onion and feta cheese starter, chicken with asparagus spears served with fried chickpeas with rosemary and limes as a main course.

"I come up with the menu myself, I sit and do research and tweak things before they get to Served," she says.

The secret to Gumede's appeal is that she's engaging. She makes sure you're really into what she's preparing and puts herself in everything she does.

She tells me her whole family loves food and cooking, her youngest brother is studying to become a chef and he's nearly done with his studies.

"It's great, once he's done he'll come up here to Joburg to help with Served."

Gumede, who works in advertising, came up with a pop-up restaurant concept and called it Served. She hosts up to 30 individuals at different locations and serves them with food and wine. Gumede has been running Served for over a year now.

Guests at a Served event.
Guests at a Served event.
Image: Supplied

The self-taught cook hopes to create comfortable spaces for people to indulge in conversation and company.

She also does private functions for a limited number of individuals.

She also currently runs the website for her business after learning to develop by studying part-time.

In fact, she does everything herself, including funding. She's hoping to get sponsorship from some alcohol brands for her food pairing ideas, but knows that waiting for it would delay her.

"Served has taught me that I am capable of doing anything," she explains.

Gumede brews kambucha and has a home garden where she sources her own veggies. Her philosophy is, "why buy when you can make or grow it?" "The dream is to have a farm and a restaurant where the food I serve is harvested at the farm." 

RECIPE 

Zaba has a fun chicken breast recipe for you to try at home.

Stuffed chicken breast served on a bed of lemon pepper asparagus and crispy chickpeas.
Stuffed chicken breast served on a bed of lemon pepper asparagus and crispy chickpeas.
Image: Londiwe Dlomo

Stuffed chicken breast served on a bed of lemon pepper asparagus & crispy chickpeas

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken breast
  • Basil
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Grated parmesan
  • Feta & Gherkin cottage cheese
  • Sauvignon blanc
  • Cream
  • Lemon gold
  • Chickpeas
  • Rosemary
  • Sea Salt
  • Extra bold black pepper
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock
  • Olive oil

PREP

  1. Rinse the chickpeas and let them sit in a on paper towel to dry
  2. Cut the lemon gold skin and chop it finely

INSTRUCTIONS

CHICKEN

  1. Cut an opening into the chicken breast, and then stuff it with basil, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella & cottage cheese. I use short kebab sticks to hold the chicken together.
  1. Coat the chicken with Parmesan cheese
  2. Heat up a pan with olive oil at medium high, place the stuffed chicken in this. Keep turning until the chicken turns golden brown.
  1. Heat up a pan with olive oil and toss in the asparagus, make sure not to over-cook this.

Sprinkle in the black pepper & squeeze in the lemon. After 5min , remove from pan.

  1. Add the dried chickpeas in the oil, let this sit for about 2mins. Then add the rosemary and lemon skins. Remove once the chickpeas are crispy brown.

SAUCE

  1. In the same pan, add in chopped garlic pour in a glass of sauvignon blanc. This must not burn.
  1. Add some cream & ½ vegetable stock cube and stir until it can coat the spoon

 

LETS EAT

  1. Place the asparagus & chickpeas on the plate, place the chicken on top.
  2. Then just drizzles the sauce you’ve made all over.

NOTESYou do have an option to coat the chicken with bread crumbs, we are keeping this meal lowcarb.

Bon appétit!

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