Top picks: Food consultant Heleen Meyer

Top picks: Food consultant Heleen Meyer

As a busy mom of two, popular food consultant and cookbook author, Heleen Meyer, knows a thing or two about whipping up delicious meals in no time, whilst keeping it tasty and healthy. Her latest book – Make 5 – gives you 5 recipes using one ingredient – perfect for the multi-tasking, time poor hostess.We chatted to Heleen about her foodie favourites.

Heleen has been in the food industry for more than 17 years, from working at a food magazine to recipe development for the likes of Heinz Foods, Golden Cloud and AMC Classic. These days, she is in high demand as a food demonstrator and judge, and has a weekly show on RSG Radio on ‘living green from your kitchen’ – a subject close to her heart.

What would your 10-year-old self say about the job you do right now?
“Ooh, lekker! Such a great variety of projects you get to work on.”

What’s the absolute best thing and the absolute pits about your job?
“Best: I get to play with my food, ingredients and different flavours. Pits: People assume that I always want to be in the kitchen, even when I’m on holiday or over a weekend, while everyone else is relaxing.”


Filled avos. Photo: Neville Lockhart


What is a food aroma you love?
“Vanilla pod, cumin, fresh basil… too many to choose one.”

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
“Quick-cooking noodles sent to me for a media launch in the 90’s, with a so-called cheese flavour. It had the brightest orange colour you can imagine and a disgusting taste and texture.”

Is there is food trend that you wish would go away?
“Mayonnaise on everything, even in layered salads.”

Favourite spot for lunch?
“Starlings Café, The Kitchen in Woodstock or Bread, Milk & Honey in Cape Town.”


Starlings Cafe. Photo: Suitcases & Lattes

Where is your go-to place to shop for food or ingredients?
“Atlas Trading in Bo-Kaap for spices and the fresh produce section in my local supermarket.”

Favourite ingredient to cook with right now?
“Lemon-flavoured avocado oil.”

Mango salsa with lemon avocado oil, ginger & honey . Recipe from: Take 5

Mango salsa with lemon avocado oil, ginger & honey. Recipe from: Make 5

Favourite food or wine hero?
“Anyone who doesn’t have ‘fiemies’ about food and who can appreciate honest, good and unpretentious food and wine.”

If you were a flavour of ice cream, you would be… (and why?)
“Vanilla pod or roasted pistachio nuts… something simple, yet special.”

If you had R1000 to spend, where would you go or what would you cook? (and drink)
“Invite a few good friends to enjoy a meal and lots of MCC around a large table. I’ll plan the meal, but get someone else to cook it, so that I can join in the feast 100%.”

Lemon risotto

Lemon risotto

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life it would be?

Your last supper would be (don’t forget the drinks!)
“With my husband Herman and any good SA MCC, but choosing a favourite meal, is like choosing the child I love most…If I have to choose: The saffron-vanilla sauce on yellowtail we had at Emily’s Bistro 15 years ago.”

Heleen’s latest book – Make 5 – is out now, featuring 5 delicious recipe variations using one ingredient. Her website – – is also packed with useful tips and recipes.