Comrades Marathon Dawn
(Craig Dutton)

Running and cooking are journeys of experiences and challenges involving complete dedication and motivation to complete the task. As athletes manage their final preparations for the Comrades Marathon (June 15) I think of the statement, which marries these two activities - to be a good chef is to be a prepared chef. And to all you athletes: May a successful Comrades result from good preparations.

During my school years I lived for Fridays and cross-country running. As a result the food items that crop up in my mind when I think physical excursion are bananas, oats, chocolate and pasta. Below are some recipes to fuel your body after a hard day at work or a strenuous training session.

Magazines and restaurants often show-case the current fashions or fads; for example, not long ago every eatery had a smoothly drink on its menu. This, when made with care, can be delicious and is worth the effort. The side recipe and component of a chocolate coated oat bar can be manipulated depending on what ingredients are available.

Top of my list is my quick and easy fresh sun-ripened tomato and onion pasta with basil pesto (a cold Italian sauce) and pecorino crisp (a cheese similar to parmesan).

This recipe leads to another satisfying pasta bowl with puttanesca sauce. Incidentally, Pasta alla Puttanesca means “Pasta the way a whore would make it.” Scandalous. This implies it’s a quick and cheap meal that prostitutes could prepare between customers. Here at Hartford House in Mooi River, we love the flavour combinations so much that we have a Puttanesca soup. It’s on our dinner menu.

Take the above recipes which highlight the natural flavours within vegetables and make them your own. Allow your much-loved flavours to determine the end results of each dish. It is interesting to note that world renowned chef, Gordon Ramsay, who lives in London, has run the Comrades many times. Let’s hope the chef who cooks for him is prepared!

Take these recipes and try them.

Send comments and food-related questions to I look forward to hearing from you.


Jackie Cameron
Head Chef: Hartford House
+27 (33) 263 2713