So I started working with ACE from my first cooking show and we went on to work on many exciting campaigns with the brand.

Over the years I would have to develop recipes, and I have always been about fusion! I just enjoy challenging ourselves - because food is cultural - I do it as a way of celebrating our cultural heritage.

For instance, I’ve had maize rice one way my whole life. I love risotto, and the grain resembles short grain rice. So I will treat like risotto.

My family is still in Soweto, and like most families, they still have pap for dinner a few times a week.

Here’s a recipe to show how easy it is to have fun with maize meal in the kitchen.

I hope you enjoy it!!

Ingredients:

2 baby chickens, cleaned and trussed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp butter

Splash oil

220g bacon, optional

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp corn-starch

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

Small handful chopped fresh parsley leaves

Method:

1.Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

2.Melt half the butter with a drop of oil in a heavy casserole, and brown the chicken on all sides over medium-high heat.

3.Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

4.Add the bacon to the pan brown it, and remove.

5.Finally, fry the onion until golden, adding more fat to the pan beforehand, if needed.

6.Stir the flour/cornstarch into the onions and cook 1 minute.

7.Deglaze the pan with the wine, stirring up the good bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

8.Pour over the stock, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

9.When the chicken is done, remove them from the cooking liquid and keep them warm while you boil the juices, uncovered, to reduce to thin sauce consistency.

10.Tilt into a serving dish, set the quails on top of the risotto, and serve.

SHIMEJI MAIZE RICE RISSOTO

Ingredients:

150g shimeji mushrooms

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup spring onion, chopped

1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup maize rice

150ml cup dry white wine

1 cup hot vegetable/chicken stock

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley for garnish

2 tbsp butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve

Method:

Rinse the maize rice. Bring 1 cup maize rice to the boil with 3 cups of warm water and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. That is 15 minutes less the normal cooking time.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the onion, thyme and garlic. Fry over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, until softened.

Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 2-3 minutes until browned.

Stir in the maize rice and coat in the oil.

Pour in the wine and simmer, stirring until the liquid has been absorbed.

Add a ladleful of the stock and simmer, stirring again until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock in this way until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is plump and tender.

Add butter and salt and pepper. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan topped with baby chicken.