Food Jams are social gatherings in which eating food is only half the fun. Participants are paired up, preferably with strangers, and each team is given a portion of the meal to prepare and invited to follow the recipe, although participants are usually encouraged to improvise.
The concept was started by Jade de Waal as an excuse to bring a group of friends together in her favourite place, the kitchen. Over the past seven years Food Jams has grown into a business that encompasses all of Jade’s food related projects, from stalls at markets, food inspired art installations and exhibitions, online video cooking tutorials, cook books and all sorts of food related content in the form of videos, photography and finally our website.
Jade De Waal
Jade is a saxophonist with a big heart, a love of good food and a passion for feeding people. Growing up in a family that celebrated life through food she developed a understanding of the role that food plays in bringing people together.
On the 4th February 2010 Jade invited a number of friends over to try out new recipes and get to know each other – showing them how preparing a good meal can be just as fun as eating it. And so Food Jams was born.
Beyond Food Jams, Jade has become involved in food markets around Cape Town, curated for exhibitions and become a household name in South Africa after her appearance on SA’s first season of Masterchef.
Her first book, Luscious Vegetarian was published in November 2012, in collaboration with her aunt, Sonia Cobano. It went on to win the Gourmand for best vegetarian cook book in SA. Her first solo book, Food Jams, hit the shelves July 2013 and compromises of 13 chapters of themed Food Jams and recipes, with photos and illustrations by various special collaborators.
From markets Jade moved on into a curatorship role at exhibitions of the Toffie Pop festival in March 2012 wherein she invited 13 multi-media artists to each create an ‘Inspiration Table” using food as medium. In June 2012 she exhibited alongside Ed Suter’s Street Style Exhibition in which various artists (namely Mak1one, Asanda Sizani and Ed Suter) presented their own interpretation of South African street styles. Jade’s exhibition centered around the transport of food in cities.
Along with Yang Zhao and the Spier Secret team, Jade headed up the Spier Secret Market in 2013. The market offered an eclectic mix of food presentations, stalls and exhibitions. With its charming quirks like candy floss trees no one was surprised when the tickets sold out. Jade was also involved in the You, Me and Everyone We know markets.
In July 2013 she was invited by South African photographer Roelof van Wyk to create a dinner called “A Feast of Friends” at the Tate Modern in London, inspired the unusual friendship of her grandmother, Adele de Waal and Winnie Mandela during Winnie’s 7-year ban to Brandfort in the 70’s.
Jade has cooked up a storm all across South Africa for private functions, celebrations and South African celebrities.
Jade is currently working with Harold Cressy High School and Masiphakameni Women’s Group in District 6 in which she mentors and trains the young people and women who have an interest in working as professionals in the food industry. The course is developed by Food Jams and encourages the participants that they can become who they dream to be, by creating a continuous learning environment, access to the industry and engaging mentors for each of the students.
Known at the quirkiest and most charming contestant on SA Masterchef Jade De Waal is making an impact on South African foodie scene and warming the hearts of all those she meets.
“You’re a crazy young woman, and I’m expecting huge things of you. And I’m keeping my eye out.” – Pete Goffe-Wood (Masterchef SA judge)