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The beginning:

As far as I can remember, I loved being in the kitchen. I grew up watching my mother in wonder as she prepared a myriad of dishes on any given day. And when my grandmother baked, I would be the official bowl licker.  I even owned a mini wooden oven and stove set and always imagined myself being a chef while “cooking up” pots of mud and grass.

When I was old enough to reach the real stove and sink, I started cooking and experimenting – from dodgy rubbery microwave chocolate cake to edible and sometimes rather delicious meals. I loved home-economics in high school and even joined a “catering society”.

After matric, I studied Food Science and Nutrition at Cape Technikon where I specialised in recipe, product development, nutrition and food communication (styling, food demonstrating etc.).  In my final year, I graduated with 8 distinctions and received 2 awards.

The journey:

I spent my first year of work doing a menu revamp and product development at a local coffee shop as well as a deli revamp at a retail franchise.
I then took a leap of faith and moved to London for 2 years – this is when I put my big girl panties on (in terms of my personal life and career).  From hard unsociable chef work and dish washing to menu development and staff training. I learnt so much about the industry and my eyes opened to a bigger world.

I came back to Cape Town, consulted another coffee shop/deli for 6 months and then landed a permanent job at PnP Good Food Studio as a home-economist. Then life happened… met my wonderful Johann through friends, a leukemia diagnoses 7 months later, a marriage proposal in hospital, a year of treatment including a bone marrow stem cell transplant and our beautiful heartfelt wedding.  Yip, that’s pretty much it, without the violin playing in the background. What a roller coaster ride it was, a time of personal and spiritual growth and I’m grateful for every moment.

When life got back on track, I spent the next 5 years at PnP developing recipes for cookery classes and cookery demonstrations. I did a lot of recipe testing and developed recipes implementing new PnP products. I taught students from all walks of life – from kids to doctors ready to retire. I loved this part of my job, meeting new people and seeing their enthusiasm while they cooked and then finally seeing how they all (most of them) transformed into confident cooks.  Between all this, I also wrote content for our newsletters (for print and web) as well as food styling where I worked alongside brilliant food photographer and stylist duo, Christof & Diane Heirli for a few years. I planned and managed a lot of foodie events from Sunflower fund or Heart foundation charity demonstrations to Fresh living or food blogger events.

As an outlet from all the “busyness” at PnP, I started a blog on Food24 in 2010 where I shared some of my recipes (and other ramblings).  My blog received such a great response on Food24 that Crush online magazine (Michael Olivier being my mentor) approached me to write a features for them. I ended up writing regular recipe features for Crush for over 4 years while still working full time.

I left PnP September 2013 and I’m finally able and fortunate enough to work in my own capacity.  I spent over 3 years slowly building the “Bits of Carey” foundation via my Food 24 blog and social media.
I am now [after a lot of blood sweat and tears] fortunate enough to consult and curate styled recipe content for various clients. I also do pop up dinners and other collaborations when time allows.

My food philosophy:

Over the years, my food style has morphed into simple, fuss free deliciousness. I’m pretty versatile when it comes to cooking and styling but what I’m mostly drawn to is comforting salt-of-the-earth food that brings about a bit of nostalgia.  The “eat me” factor is extremely important in my work too. My must have ingredients are most definitely fresh lemons, herbs, butter and BACON. My guilty pleasure is something as simple as “niknaks”.

Thank you to my foodie mentors:

Cheryl Graham – for being such an inspirational person and for all your encouragement over the years.

Michael Olivier – For seeing potential in my work and for all your valuable advice.

Kelly Ramsay – for always encouraging my creativity, for all the fun times we shared at PnP and for supporting me through a challenging time in my life.

Caro De Waal – for encouraging me to start a blog in the first place. For helping me become a better content writer and most importantly for being such a rad person.

bits of carey
Thank you for visiting!
Carey Boucher-Erasmus xx