Sunday, June 13, 2010

Maria magic



Maria van Zyl is only 18 years old, but already working hard to build our regional buffet. I was lucky enough to discover her (and her warm oats!) next to the children's playground at the Waldorf Organic Farmers' Market. Except for the oh so yummy oats, she sells the best spiced apple tea I've ever had, polenta tart with spiced pears in red wine, chocolate brownies (with nuts when she can find them locally), ground almond and semolina cake, wheat free nut cake and wheat free chocolate cake. Many of her baked wonders is inspired by Wendy Cook’s The Biodynamic Food and Cookbook, based on biodynamic principles.

Maria understands the many levels of an ethical food system. Not only are all of her ingredients organic and/or freerange, but she also attempts to find them regionally. She also uses compostable containers from Green Home in Cape Town. On a social level, as part of her final year high school project, she taught a group of twelve people in Kayamandi how to bake. The course was based at the Legacy Centre in Kayamandi. It forms part of the Waldorf school curriculum that she follows at the Constantia Waldorf School in Cape Town.

Maria's future plans include a possible pastry course in Observatory, Cape Town and a year of working in a bakery in France to acquire the cutting edge skills she needs to bake her way through her studies in natural medicine. She is not set on anything yet, however, and for the moment is focusing on finishing school and spoiling us with her baked treats.

Look out for the Bircher muesli and quiches she is going to sell soon!