Johnathan Taylor, 47. Has lived in Tzaneen over 24 years. Went to cooking school in Oudshoring – Wester Cape.
Joe started cooking in the army, based just outside Eilandsfontein – Pretoria. Preparing and cooking food for 400-600 people every single day for two years! From there on he went to cooking school in Oushoring – Western Cape. First started off as a chef in Cape Town at Protea Hotel, and thereafter had training in the UK and set forth on traveling the globe to places like; Europe, Israel and South America. Indulging in all sorts of cuisine….
Moving to Tzaneen, Joe started farming with avocados and all the and then set out growing all the greeneries that is used in the restaurant.
On the farm. They are an NPO org. Christian. This is how the work and the restaurant are funded. Giving people out of broken homes, drug addicts and so forth a place to stay and work. At Yum Yum they work on a volunteer based program. All the staff. Etc. mentoring them, training them and just getting them ready for the world out there.
Cooking is a passion for Joe and getting on the creative side of things is what he lives for, never set in his ways or on a menu. Yum Yum gave him the freedom to experement with food and flavors. His menu depends on what is in season and what is growing on the farm that can be used. He loves to play around with a recipe and to constantly mix things up.
His specialty is and signature dish is his gourmet burgers. You won’t get a burger like this anywhere else in SA. Beef burger cut from prime rib witch he minces himself. Then of course he is a master in slow cooking meals; lamb shanks, oxtail short rib etc. For all the meat lovers out there, Joe and his big chunks of meat will be your salvation!
Rule of thumb in Joe’s kitchen – EXCELLANCE!! Never anything mediocre. Excellence is a commitment to a standard that must be worked towards to.
His favorite food is Asian & Thai food—he’s a lover of spices especially coconut and limes. They grow their own lemon grass and galangal on the farm. Freshness is key! To play with flavours is his forte.
A classic dish is a foundation, from there on he adds to the dish and makes it his own. Never a dull dish!
Joe’s motto = to know the joy of God, and having that joy show throughout your work. The joy that we receive freely should be given out freely.