I have been a guest chef at the Hobart and Broadacres Superspar for the last few months. Both these stores have kept me on my toes – in fact, it’s actually the customers who keep me busy. The demand for home cooked convenience meals has been growing. During the Winter months there is a spike in the demand for comfort food. Soups, Hot Pots and Casseroles and yes, you guessed it….CURRIES!
Chicken with baby spinach, Brinjal in Coconut Sauce (Mrs Tarr’s favourite), Coconut and curry leaf lamb and Mediterranean chicken casserole are just some of the dishes I have been preparing at the hot counter. The customers have been enthusiastic and adventurous about the new meals and often talk about how much easier it is to pick up a meal rather than cook. A lady popped in last week to pick up Pumpkin Pie (this is a speciality at both Broadacres and Hobart) that she was taking to Cape Town.
My cooking stint last week coincided with the Spar International visit. There were around 300 delegates from all over the world that visited the Broadacres Superspar. I was gob smacked – I had absolutely no idea that there were Spar stores in so many different countries. We watched as they wandered around the store staring at name badges…there were visitors from Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Austria – the list does go on.
The chicken breyani was simmering gently in my largest AMC electric pot. If I could compare this pot to a 4 x 4, I would say that its not like having an ordinary one – Its like having a top of the range Porsche Cayenne! This 40cm Magnum AMC pot always saves the day! In the pot world it says “I have arrived!” The chicken with baby spinach was cooked in time and the delicious spicy aromas wafted throughout the store. The one thing that always stands out about these two Superspars is that it attracts the ‘gourmet customers’. Broadacres Spar is an institution – just when boerewors got boring, they came up with the red wine, chilli and garlic wors. That earned the Spar a big gold Yudhika star! It is by far the best ‘blow your socks off’ boerie I have ever tasted. Since the breyani was a new dish we handed out little tasters garnished with crispy onions and coriander.
The last bus pulled in outside the Spar. There were a few quiet whispers and a few ladies remarked that the Spanish visitors had arrived. A lady at the counter said, ‘Off all the days! Off all the days, today is the day I am shopping in my gym clothes!’
Can you imagine a bus load of handsome, well dressed men who look like Enrique Iglesias??? One or two Enrique lookalikes would be challenging but a bus load of them was just more that most girls could handle! They toured the store turning heads everywhere they went. Boy, I wish I had made a “Pull Out All The Stops Paella’ that day. I handed out Chicken Breyani tasters instead. I don’t know if they could sing – but that was the last of my worries!
My advice to the single ladies out there is, “Maybe you should book your next holiday to Spain and check out the ‘historical sites’ and soak up some Spanish culture.”
Enough about the Spaniards – the Breyani never made it to the hot counter. We sold out in half an hour with the Broadacres customers ordering mainly large portions.