The kitchen is Bianka’s holy ground. It’s behind the stove where she lives out her passion, finds her inner creative force and creates meals that’ll both surprise and satisfy your taste buds.

Bianka recently launched her own catering company, Butter & Glaze Catering, located at Memories 4 Ever function venue. As the youngest of three children and raised by only her father, Bianka has always had wonderful examples of how to work hard and follow her  dreams. Bianka’s mom passed away due to cancer when she was only 5 months old, and she’s heard about the tales of her mom’s amazing cooking and love for food. She studied Hospitality Management at the CUT’s Hotel School, and obtained her diploma in 2017. She worked at the Conrad Pezula Resort Hotel and Spa in Knysna, where she learnt many wonderful things.

“This was a great learning experience for me and also where I came to the realisation that I want to be a business owner. I subsequently enrolled for the BTech Hospitality  Management Degree. The degree was conferred upon me in 2018.”

Long story short… Bianka was afforded the opportunity to enter into a partnership with the owner of the beautiful venue Memories 4 Ever, Henrihet Human. “While I was studying, I catered for her a few times, therefor she knew my passion lies in food. She offered me a wonderful deal: I would work from the venue, running my own company, but the functions
at Memories 4 Ever would have first priority.

“I always said to my friends that one day I would like to have my own coffee shop and catering business. My dream came true a lot earlier than I had expected. We are still working on starting a coffee shop. Being so young, these opportunities do not come
often. I am very excited to grow with Memories 4 Ever in the business side and also to have Henrihet since she is so inspirational and a mentor for me. We work very well together.”

The idea Bianka has for Butter & Glaze is to be different, but in a manner that is refreshing and that will still sit well with people’s palettes. She happily trades traditional  “pampoenkoekies” for a delicious pumpkin cheesecake, and she doesn’t sacrifice freshness for taste. “I always start prepping as close to the function day as possible to always serve the freshest food.”

Her interest in the culinary world has been with her since she can remember. “Since I grew up without a mother, my dad always made the easiest dishes for us. From Bovril sandwiches to macaroni with soup powder, but for us it was heaven. We were invited to dinner parties often and it was so amazing to taste the food made by other people. I learned that there are so many flavours out there to experience.” She remembers
baking cakes with her grandmother on their farm, and regularly dreamt about different flavour combinations, which she would test the next morning.

“I was told so many stories about my mother and how much she loved to cook, her recipe book collection also gave it away. She also wanted to own her own coffee shop and part of Butter & Glaze is to honour her.”

For Bianka, creating beautiful, delicious food is art. “I like to think of a plate as a blank canvas and using the food items that I make to colour in the plate. It is calming and knowing that I can think outside the box is very satisfying to me.”

She focuses on French cuisine, mainly because of her love for… butter! “The French use clarified butter in their cooking and since I studied French cuisine, my love for it grew. I think of French cuisine as a romantic style of cooking, using a lot of different flavours.”

In her quest to start her own business at such a young age, Bianka has learnt to be strong. “My kitchen assistant, Willa Greyling, and I, sometimes work till midnight to get all our dishes done. This is still fun but can take a toll on your body. We encourage each other to be strong and to keep going.”

Bianka’s signature dishes include: Her melktert cake, “It’s a perfect combination between classic milk tart, cinnamon and vanilla cake.” Her chocolate carrot cake, “It’s a carrot cake base that has more carrots in the dough than flour… with a chocolate cheesecake filling.” And her cheesecake, in any way, shape or form, “Whether it be savoury or sweet, there are so many flavours to experiment with.”

Her knowledge of fitness nutrition stemmed from her mother’s path with cancer (she had cancer while pregnant with Bianka), and Bianka’s subsequent diagnosis of Irritable Bowl Syndrome. “Diet and lifestyle are very important in this regard as I get very sick when
I don’t eat according to my lifestyle. Preparing food in a healthy way is delicious. Since my options are limited to certain food items, I really enjoy playing around with flavours. This got me into nutrition.”

Bianka’s other hobbies include wine, wine making and good quality coffee. She’s also into fine art and pencil drawings.

Quickies

Best food you’ve ever had: This is a tough question, but I would definitely say my grandmother’s cooking, especially the lamb chops she makes and my boyfriend’s
mother’s baked chicken and slap chips.

…and the grossest food? Two minute noodles, although I did not always think that it was gross until I’ve learned about preservatives.

Tips on braaiing the perfect steak: The quality of meat that you buy is one of the most important aspects. Rather buy an A-grade steak. It is not necessary to use any marinade, especially if you want to taste the meat and not the sauce. Salt and black pepper is enough. Medium-rare or rare is the perfect temperature for steak.

Text: Lani Fouché. Photos: Pierce van Heerden. Makeup: Lesya Nel.

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