WHEN South Africa went into a countrywide lockdown due to the Coronavirus on March 27, 2020, renowned chef and cookbook author Jason Whitehead decided to use his time wisely – to raise funds for Streetscapes, the NGO he has been supporting and working with over the years.
He has done this by documenting his daily recipes in an e-book called My Lockdown Cookbook.
“It is not your run-of-the-mill cookbook,” says Whithead. “As the cover depicts, it’s a diary of sorts, with stories and recipes from a chef in quarantine. Readers can expect 30 easy-to-make recipes – some more challenging than others, varying from the very basic End Of The Month Salticrax chapter to beef ragu, basil & mascarpone raviolis – with pictures, and in essence a fun escape from reality; 50% of all sales will be donated to Streetscapes which will result in close to half a million rand if we reach the goal of selling 10 000 copies.”
The team at Streetscapes does amazing work for the homeless community in and around Cape Town, says Whitehead. “They offer street people caught up in the criminal justice system, and with chronic and progressive drug / alcohol addiction a second chance. By creating work opportunities that are rehabilitative and reintegrative, they provide this vulnerable population with a real opportunity to rebuild their lives, which reduces crime and grime in the inner city. It’s a ‘hand-up’, not a handout. Work provides income, routine and structure and dignity allowing participants to be useful again.”
Whitehead has been supporting Streetscapes for years and as they have very little in terms of funding, he thought he could utilise this time in lockdown to raise some much-needed funding for them. “I know this is a difficult time for all of us, but at least some of us have a roof over our heads and food in our fridges. The homeless community have neither,” he comments.
The e-book will be available to purchase online on Whitehead’s website from April 24, 2020, with 50% of the proceeds going directly to Streetscapes. Whitehead wants the e-book to be accessible to as many people as possible, far and wide. “The cost is just R99 a copy, and we can only reach our goal with everyone’s help. Please do not share the book with your friends and family, but rather see your purchase as a donation to Streetscapes with a free cookbook as a thank you from us. The e-book is a witty, very real and honest story of a chef in quarantine, packed with over 30 recipes and pictures of each dish.” says Whitehead.
For more info and to buy your copy, click here.