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Food Jams is a party where cooking is only half the fun
Last updated: Thursday, 7 September 2023
Yes, you cook. You chop, and blanch, and deep fry to create kickass dishes from Italian to Asian at Food Jams. That’s just half the fun. The magic is created through the loud, lively and boisterous energy of the people, the music, and of course the wine… and to think it all started with jazz.
Food Jams was founded in 2010. Image: Simone Schultz
CONNECT USING MUSIC & FOOD
Founder Jade de Waal describes Food Jams best: “It's a party where cooking and eating is only half the fun." She developed the concept while studying jazz, to combine her love for cooking and jamming out with her friends.
The first Food Jams was held on 4 February 2010, and since then the Food Jams team have hosted every celebration you can think of, from birthdays to team building parties.
Jade was also a contestant on MasterChef SA season 1. Image: Food Jams
PICK THE BEST VENUE FOR YOUR TEAM
Food Jams has three venues for you to choose from according to the occasion. If you’re looking for a more intimate setting for a small birthday bash or bachelorette party, Studio Jade in Woodstock suits. It can take up to 13 people.
For the loud and rowdy year-end parties or corporate team events, the Soute Studio in Salt River looks like a MasterChef kitchen and can take between 20 and 60 people. Plus, it has a functioning bar on site.
Then there’s InAweStays, where it all started. This little gem in Gardens is popular among tourists looking for both accommodation and activities. It’s set in the kitchen of the guest house, and can take up to 24 people.
Food Jams also hosts workshops. Image: Lara van Zyl
ASIAN, ITALIAN, AFRICAN + MORE
The experience starts way before you enter the kitchen. The Food Jams team create recipes that they know you’ll have fun making, with different themes that you can choose from like Africa, Mediterranean, South America or Spice Route.
The menu is only revealed on the day of the jam, and not knowing what you’ll be making is part of the fun.
If you vote for Asia, for example, you’ll be surprised with dishes like Korean corn dogs (filled with melted cheese instead of a hotdog), sticky soy ribs, Vietnamese spring rolls, Thai pineapple rice, spicy deep-fried cauliflower and more.
Recipes are provided, but participants are encouraged to improvise. Image: Lara van Zyl
COOK & DANCE WITH YOUR TEAM
The experience kicks off with a bolstering welcome from one of the Food Jams chefs, while throwback hits blast through the speakers – everything from Taylor Swift classics to early 2000s R&B.
The team of chefs provide you with everything you need, including aprons, tools, ingredients and expert tips (as well as beer and wine from the on-site bar).
You are split into groups (think MasterChef team challenges) – the blue team, yellow team, green team, orange team.
And then the clock starts ticking…
You don’t have to worry about cleaning up after yourself at Food Jams. Image: Food Jams
There is only one rule at Food Jams: NO RULES. Each team has two hours to prepare a dish for the harvest table – chopping, grilling, marinating, sautéing and even working over giant flames.
Some people might completely improvise their recipe, others focus on creating the perfectly-made spring roll, as if it were a Pressure Test on MasterChef. And there’s always someone who dances around the kitchen with a beer in hand.
Participants are encouraged to improvise recipes if they feel comfortable to do so. Image: Food Jams
BOND AT THE HARVEST TABLE
When the clock stops, you’ll be amazed by the dishes your team has created. The Food Jams team clear your stations, giving you a moment to check in with other teams, what dishes they were assigned and to refill your glasses.
Then, it’s time to dig in. The harvest table is laid out like a Sunday lunch where everyone gathers to enjoy the fruits of their labour, and can go back for seconds or thirds.
It’s a great team building or birthday party activity. Image: Lara van Zyl
GET IN TOUCH WITH FOOD JAMS
Food Jams is open: Monday to Saturday, 10am - 10pm
Find it at 3 locations:
Soute Studio: Unit B10, Salt Orchard Precinct, 45 Yew Street, Cape Town
Studio Jade: 30 Fairview Avenue, Woodstock
InAwestays: 34 Kamp Street, Gardens
By Lara van Zyl
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