By Adeela Kasoojee
The Wooden Spoon Culinary Classes are the outcome of imagination, inspiration, creativity and as co-founder Sameera Wadee Dasoo explains – much intense preparation and hard work.
The concept of offering culinary classes was borne out of Sameera and younger sister, Raeesah’s appreciation for fine dining and their desire to share their collective vision and flair for creativity with everyone around them.
Their talent is not limited to the culinary arts – Raeesah is a lawyer who chooses to devote her time to raising three beautiful daughters, Sarrinah, Alaynah and baby Mariyah. She is busy and fulfilled in her present role despite not pursuing what she intended post-university. She may decide to return to the corporate world once her daughters are older. Sameera’s career path ties in with her love of giving – she is a teacher at a Science Centre based in the Sedibeng district. The centre assists underprivileged children in the townships who want to improve their academic performance. Sameera is a working mother to her two lovely daughters, Sabreen and Sofia.
Sameera and Raeesah chose to name their partnership “The Wooden Spoon” in recognition of their paternal grandmother who owned a café with the same name in the Johannesburg Central Business District during the 1980’s. A nostalgic and sentimental duo, they credit their grandmother and mother, Mariam who manufactures and supplies the famed Mariam’s Masala –
“Hers (their grandmother), coupled with our mum’s love for food and entertaining is the driving force behind our love for cooking, baking and recreating old school favourites with a modern twist.”
It must be said though, that these young women not only ‘recreate old school favourites’ – they literally celebrate food. Theirs is a warm and welcoming home and mum Mariam, goes out of her way to make every visitor comfortable. Sitting in their mum’s cozy place in Killarney – we conversed over scones studded with honey-roasted almonds and served with a plum and strawberry jam infused with the heady scent of roses. I later indulged in their mother’s specialty of exotic and succulent creamy masala prawns served with a spicy rice, at her behest. No regrets, because that meal was utterly gratifying and delicious. Raeesah and Sameera have certainly learned from the best.
This generosity of spirit is what defines these vivacious sisters. Food is indeed their chosen “Love Language” They are descended from a long line of women who love cooking and entertaining and the culmination of this multi-generational love affair with food is an offering far too luscious and moreish to resist. The sisters have developed instructive classes that appeal to a wide range of personalities. Their culinary class offerings embrace, what they term “Redefined Indian Cuisine” and include entertainment or themed courses, kids’ courses, couples’ courses, team-building initiatives and Master-Chef type cook- offs etc. Classes can be tailor-made to suit the individual’s requirements.
“Redefined Indian Cuisine” class at the Good Food Studio
The “Redefined Indian Cuisine” class showed participants how to retain the authenticity of Indian cuisine and emphasise the base flavours whilst adding elements of modernity and bringing a fresh new outlook to traditional food. They did this by adding playful elements like flowers and herbs and layering complex and simple ingredients to create lively dishes with colour, aroma and robust flavours.
There is an immense amount of work that goes into the delivery of these classes. Conceptualising, planning, actual logistics and the grand finale of presenting the actual class all contribute to a successful outcome. Both sisters design menus that are not only visually appealing. A great example is the “Eid Entertainment” class dessert component where they recreated a beautiful smash-board (pictured below) which was literally a multi-sensory extravaganza.
“Redefined Indian Cuisine”
I was fortunate enough to be able to share a recipe from The Wooden Spoon who generously shared their gift with us. Sameera and Raeesah wish you all the best in recreating the recipe and hope you will enjoy it as much as they enjoyed sharing it. “With Eid coming up we would like to share with your readers our take on Eid Milk. During our “Eid Entertainment” class, all attendees were welcomed with Eid milk on arrival.”
Please feel free to contact either Raeesah or Sameera, on 082 214 9202 or 082 396 0050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for any enquiries about classes.
Recipe: Sameera Wadee Dasoo and Raeesah Wadee of “The Wooden Spoon” Culinary Classes
Photography: Saaleha Idrees Bhamjee of “Shootcake photography”
Mariam’s Masala – 0733930304 (Mariam Wadee)