10 chefs reveal their kitchens in #nomakeup shelfies

Instagram-is-down-just-describe-your-lunch-to-meLast year Time ran a controversial cover story on what writer Joel Stein called the Me Me Me Generation of lazy, entitled narcissists. While some argue he’s simply describing adolescents of any era, these days it is a rarity to spot an under-20 on the train, in a shop or even walking down the street not stuck to a phone.

It’s a phenomenon afflicting adults, too: many of us simply must ‘tweet before we eat’, making sure to post a pic of our #amazing #breakfast, spending much more time cropping, choosing a filter and replying to likes and comments than actually eating the darn thing.

There have been Instagram parody videos to the tune of Nickleback songs (beware: the earworm will remain for days) and even the leader of the free world, Barack Obama, got into hot water after taking a selfie at the funeral of Tata Madiba.

But don’t despair, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Visi turned the selfie into something more interesting and cool (as they tend to do) when they launched their shelfie competition, calling on readers to send in snapshots of their bookshelves. (Selfie of a shelf = shelfie. Get it?!)

But what’s even better than a bookshelf, we asked ourselves. A cook’s shelf, of course! So we asked a few of our favourite food makers and shakers around the country to send us a shelfie of themselves in front of their favourite storage area in the kitchen, whether it houses books, pans, spices or sugar. To join in the fun, why not take your own shelfie and tweet it at us @Eat_Out. We look forward to seeing your pickle jars and much-loved potjies.

Abigail Donnelly
Eat Out editor and judge

“I love collecting pretty things in pastel, ranging from milky glass to white-on-white for serving food. I also collect sugars; here’s my collection of sugar cubes in a giant jar.” Abi-Shelfie

Annemarie Steenkamp
Chef at Burrata, winner of 2013 Best Italian Restaurant

“These babies work harder than some of the chefs in the kitchen :) From left to right: Hamilton Beach blender, KitchenAid mixer, Pacojet and Grant sous vide.” Annemarie-Steenkamp-Shelfie

Berenne Cristini
Owner of Sorbetiere, producer of the mango sorbet that won the 2014 Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Award for Best New Product

“We’re enjoying the autumn transition between deciduous fruits like pear and apple to the the beginning of citrus season with some very good clementines. Mangoes are still ripening well up north but not for long, so we’re making as much sorbet as we can. The chocolate is pure Valrhona; I have tried other chocolate producers with locally conched beans, but Valrhona has a unique quality for ice cream and pastry. You will also see my sugar cones in the jar on the top. We make all our sugar cones by hand at the shop, the only non-vegan part of our sorbet, as there is egg yolk involved.” Sorbeterie-Shelfie

Chantel Dartnall
Chef at Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, winner of the 2009 Chef of the Year Award

“This is my favourite shelf in my kitchen. I have always loved copper pots since I was very young. I always said that one day when I have my own kitchen I will have a shelf filled with copper pots. It took a while and a lot of saving, but here it is!” Chantel-Shelfie

Chris Erasmus
Chef at Foliage in Franchhoek

“Here are a few of my goodies that I’ve been playing with: homemade fig jam, Vadouvan-preserved limes, peppadews, dried boletus, fly agarics, pine rings, leek and eucalyptus ash, vinegar mothers, acorn flour, matured butter, dehydrated pork skin and pickled chillies. These will inform the theme of my new restaurant, Foliage: from forest and garden to plate. Lots of fermenting happening at my house at the moment…” Chris-Eramus-Shelfie

Graham Neilson
Chef at 9th Avenue Bistro, previous Top 10 restaurant and 2012 winner of the Best Bistro Award 

“This is our pantry, a tiny room (3m x 2m) on the side of the kitchen, where all the dry store goods are kept. In the same room you can find our office, red wine fridge, drinks and tool kit! As you can imagine, it’s a super-tight squeeze, plus there always seem to be at least one or two staff members who have something to do in there. On the shelves are mixtures of spices, flours, chocolates, herbs, condiments, olives, beans, polenta, tapioca and more. Everything and anything is in there!” 9th-Ave-Shelfie

Jackie Cameron
Chef at 2013 no. 5 restaurant Hartford House and judge for the 2014 Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards

“This is the view I’ve had for nearly 12 years – so many memories and special times with my team. If those cupboard doors could speak! This is the stunning kitchen cupboard belonging to [Hartford House owner] Mrs Goss. I arrived when her kitchen curtains had just been removed, and I still had her oak extractor fan over my gas stove. A lot has changed since then. Right now this cupboard is completely empty, which is my way of saying there are still so many exciting things to come! In the next photo, you will notice I am eating chocolate icing. It’s an unwritten rule in Hartford’s kitchen that leftover cake batter always comes my way – no mixing bowl is allowed to go to the wash before I’ve had my share!” Jackie-Cameron-Shelfie

Karen Schneid-Lieberman
Owner of Ooh La La, winner of the confectionery category at the 2014 Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards

Karen’s ingredients for delicious French- and Spanish-inspired sweet delights like calissons, salted caramels, marshmallows (in no less than 30 flavours) and nougat appear in jars behind her. Ooh-la-la-shelfie

Marthinus Ferreira
Chef at DW Eleven-13, Top 10 restaurant in 2010, 2011 and 2012

Marthinus shows off his kitchen shelves and playful personality. Marthinus-Shelfie

Matt Allison
Urban farmer, plant lover, designer and writer at

“My pantry is my garden. I grow over 40 different herbs and vegetables throughout the year and take my cue for our daily menu based on what’s in season. I love collecting cook books – nothing ‘over the top’, just ones that focus on healthy, wholesome meals.” Matt-Allison-Shelfie

Take your own shelfie and tweet it @Eat_Out. We’d love to see you in your element in the kitchen.

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