Five Minutes with Charcutier Neil Jewell
Neil Jewell hails from Southend-on-Sea in the UK, but has living in South Africa for quite some time now. He started cooking at a young age and fell in love with what would become is career and craft. After studying at the South East Essex College of Art and Technology he honed his skills in the kitchens of Stephen Bull, Richard Corrigan and Ray Neve. In 1999 Neil started at Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant at Môreson wine farm in Franschhoek and has never looked back. Along the way he developed a passion for charcuterie and has turned this into an almost full time extra role, supplying other restaurants with his cured meats. He believes staunchly in the traceability and ethical rearing of the meats he uses and has formed a partnership with local farmer Charlie Crowther from Glen Oakes pig farm, where all his meat is sourced from. We chat to Neil briefly ahead of his talk at the Boschendal Farm to Table Festival at the end of April where he will be speaking about this subject.
What are your thoughts about the current trend of eating organic, free-range products?
Hooray! And long may it last.
How do you stay inspired and fresh in what you do?
I have always loved food and always will. I believe that we cannot stand still, there is always something new to try.
What has the art of charcuterie taught you?
To take your time in everything.
Best piece of advice you ever received?
Be willing to learn from everybody to only cook the food that you would want to eat!
Favourite place to get away to? The beach.
Career hero: Marco Pierre White.
Best way to unwind at the end of the day: Ride into the mountains at the back of the farm.
Late night sneak snack: A doner kebab, extra chilli sauce. I miss home!
Who would play you in a movie? A big person.
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