Pioneering chef, Junelle Germishuizen creates taste sensations


Chef Junelle Germishuizen, founder and head chef at Lardiere Fine Foods.

Chef Junelle Germishuizen, founder and head chef at Lardiere Fine Foods, creates stunning and sumptuous treats for turndown at some of South Africa’s most exclusive travel destinations. Catering for the international guest and the discerning traveller, Lardiere Fine Foods places an emphasis on fine quality ingredients and focuses attention on the luxury dining experience. Room Treats complement the table of any award-winning chef.

Germishuizen has been in the industry for 26 years and most of those having been in catering. She looks back fondly at her time spent working with Ben Filmalter of Mugg and Bean fame and remembers Judy Filmalter’s baked goods as some of the best recipes she has ever tasted. Germishuizen prides herself on constant innovation and pushing the envelope on taste sensations. She has spent years working tirelessly on creating her own luxury brand which seeks to deliver the freshest, most mouth-watering tastes to people’s palates.

Germishuizen is always on the lookout for new food trends and taste sensations, which she sources and incorporates into the Lardiere Product Range. She ceaselessly educates herself and trains her staff at the Fine Food Studio on new techniques of preparation in order to fascinate hotel guests.

‘My whole life has been a search for better quality, different styles and new food trends. Getting people to taste out of the box is an ongoing reward for me. I truly eat and sleep food. It is my passion and obsession,’ explains Germishuizen.

In recent years, she has identified a need in the luxury market for bespoke, artisanal Room Treats. Lardiere Fine Foods now supplies some of the most luxurious boutique hotels in the country like The Saxon, Rovos Rail and The Westcliff, to name a few. International travellers are regularly exposed to luxury, hand-crafted turndown treats and increasingly expect this service, just as they would expect good quality shampoo and conditioner.

Catering for this detail-oriented crowd, Lardiere offers its entire range on custom order, complete with nutritional information and ingredient lists on all products, the product names are in five different international languages. Lardiere Room Treats are preservative free and served fresh in biodegradable packaging as part of the business’s eco-aware philosophy and approach to fine foods.

Germishuizen says South African olive oil is one of her favourite products. Besides being the best quality in the world, it is also local and buying local produce supports the local economy. Some of her other favourite ingredients include:

  • Butter (she believes that you can never have too much)
  • Pistachio nuts because spending time removing the shell yields such a delicious green-skinned reward.
  • Coconut, which she could literally bathe in – coconut chocolate, coconut milk, coconut everything!
  • Almonds, because ground up they make the best cake base.
  • According to Germishuizen, they are sexy and full of flavour, especially when dried and eaten as a snack.

Germishuizen is always looking at new flavours and constantly exploring traditional wheat flour variations. She is interested in ground down pulses and grains that do not contain wheat, in an effort to pack flavour, not to mention nutritional value, into her tasty turndown treats. Some of her new ideas are Buckwheat and Chickpea Sablés, Turmeric and Fennel Seed Crackers, Mandarin Orange Tea Cookies, Ginger Lattice Snaps, Saffron Marshmallows and Rose and Cardamom Nougat.

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