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WELCOME TO the smokingchimney.com

Thank you for visiting my website.

Hello,  I am Marna, in my early thirties  and has been  in the Chef and Hospitality Industry for almost fifteen yours. I have "retired" from physically cooking as a chef and has decided to use my knowledge and experience and move my  work life in a different direction by blogging my career recipes, writing reviews and useful career advice about the industry for future chefs.   My love with food started when I was still young and at home at my parents house. My mom used to bake a wonderful chocolate cake (and also other tarts etc.) for school fundraising and my aunt - then not married- used to help me with my home economics practical exams.  I always went to her house to practice whatever I needed to make and she made sure I knew how to make it.

In my late teens, I already knew I wanted to go the chef route. My dad took me to Warwick Chef School in Onrust River, Hermanus my first stop-by to see where I want to study, and it was also my last stop-by. I liked the school and we did the enrollment.  I was chosen for the July 2003 course. After graduating I left home in Worcester, started working at a Guest House in the Stanford area and mostly continued to be in the Guest House area.  I must say that Guest Houses give you the good freedom to experiment - something you don't always get at a la carte restaurant where the Head Chef changes the menu every now and again.

But it is mostly at Augusta Kleinbosch Guest Farm in Paarl - A Historic Farm in the Cape Winelands- where I had most freedom to develop my cooking style. Our mission was to keep the guests happy - at any cost.

Here I worked hard - from early mornings to late nights - but it was the best time of my career. I was comfortable in my kitchen, had a fantastic team to work with - in my kitchen and restaurant area, as well as the farm area, management, and the room ladies. And with this said - I can assure you getting a fantastic team to work with is extremely rare to find!

Here I could be creative, enjoy my classical cooking style and enjoy our overseas European market guests and locals from South Africa from the Wellington Wine Walk groups, as well as business people. And here I felt most at home in my kitchen. My wonderful husband, Iwan Ross, encouraged me to start a blog. Thank you Iwan, for helping me with all the technical content and the lessons on how to load my recipes for this blog. You do magnificent work for the IT Industry, also view the other marvelous website work he did for St. Omer Nursery and other businesses as well.

Enjoy the blog and I hope other chefs and individuals  can benefit from my recipes. It is here to help and inspire! If you are a home cook, enjoy it too! You have all the time in the world not to rush a recipe.

With love,


We Recommend

Carrot Cake

It took me literally years and years to finally be happy with the perfect Carrot Cake! This dearest readers and fellow friends are a TREASURY CARROT CAKE RECIPE - if you are fortune enough to own a coffee shop or you have a bakery business on the side, this carrot cake recipe is a must try! Most chefs are not very keen on sharing their million-dollar recipes to anyone out there. And in my start-up years of cheffing, I didn't either. But becoming older - and I must say wiser too - I am ready to share all my recipes on The Smoking Chimney. There for anyone to enjoy and to practice.This carrot cake recipe is easy to make - some recipes I came across takes up too many carrots to grate (which take up too much time) and this recipe is lovely. The different spices makes it very tasty, as well as the pineapple adds some moist to it as well. This carrot cake makes up 2 round cakes, ideal for a double stack cake. Carrot cake are a bit more of an expensive cake to make, especially with the price of nuts these days and cream cheese. But I can promise you this cake is definitely a must. It is quite a large cake and you can get a lot of slices out of it, depending on the seize of the slice of course. It works fantastic at birthday parties, high tea and for baby showers or just your ordinary cake treat for the week. I have never made cup cakes of it, but am very sure they will come out beautifully too. I can add that this cake freezes exceptionally well - there for no excuse that you would not finish all in a few days. Freeze it and take slices out as you need it. You will see it is a million dollar winner recipe!

Beetroot Side Salad for the Braai

Beetroot Side Salad for the Braai is a lovely choice for doing something different for your Braai (BBQ). While employed by Augusta Kleinbosch Guest Farm a few years ago, we did this lovely beetroot side salad for the Braai quite a lot on our BBQ evenings. It is something totally different, but very tasty and delicious. Beetroot is one of the 'Wonder' foods, and if you are a very healthy person, you should definitely consider to make this at your next planned Braai (BBQ) evening. Perhaps on this coming Heritage Braai Day? With beetroot being a super/wonder food it is great for health and weight loss (for the mommies out there), low in calories, good for eye health, a great source of vitamins and magnesium. It removes toxins from your liver and for many more healthy reasons. The yogurt dressing is quick and easy to make. You can find the Nigella Seeds at Yuppy Chef. A lovely place to shop online for your kitchen tools and accessories. If you want to substitute the nigella seeds with something similar, use cumin seeds. Back in the days when I made it, I didn't know where to find Nigella Seeds, so I used cumin seeds. It works just as well. The key to the seeds is it gives some extraordinary aroma to the beetroot salad and dressing.This beetroot salad for the braai adds vibrant colour to the table. The flat leaf parsley you can get from your local nursery, I get mine from St Omer Nursery in Paarl..This dish is also wonderful with my  Traditional Roast Chicken for the Christmas Table.

Japie se Gunsteling

Japie se Gunsteling recipe I dedicate to my dad. I know how much he loves Japie Se Gunsteling dessert. When I went to visit I made bobotie as the main course with Japie Se Gunsteling as dessert. It is a baked orange pudding and is really great, also for me who isn't so keen on fruit-type desserts this is something to re-consider to eat. And I actually enjoyed it myself. Japie Se Gunsteling is a very popular Afrikaans dessert and goes back a few generations. Use the best fresh oranges for this Japie Se Gunsteling recipe and you will taste the difference. The orange zest add some taste as well. I also used to make this lovely dessert in winter time as it is a baked pudding. Add your homemade vanilla ice-cream or cream to it. Or a dollop of cream. With custard or just as it is. The choice is yours. I used to dish it in a lovely bowl and present it in a simple way. Especially the older men from the Hugenote Gedenkschool Trustee Board enjoyed when I pulled out some older Afrikaans menu's. You can let it bake until it is light brown on top (this depends on your oven as welll. As I have a gas oven it tend to bake longer than a electrical oven. So for all those foreigners overseas, if you are married to a South - African spouse, you must certainly make this lovely Japie Se Gunsteling although I doubt your name is Japie too!

Overnight Steak Marinade

I began making this wonderful overnight steak marinade for our Braai (BBQ) evenings back in my chef days at Augusta Kleinbosch Guest Farm. Some evenings we had lamb tjops on the braai, other evenings lovely T-Bone steaks for our guests. Sometimes we just had a simple chicken braai, but we always added nice boerewors to the braai too! A braai is not a braai with some boerewors! This particular steak marinade I used to marinade the T-Bone steaks. The important part of this overnight steak marinade is to make it a day before the Braai (BBQ) so that the T-Bones or other steak can marinade overnight in this lovely sauce. A bit of a tip: If a recipe states something must be left overnight to infuse, follow the advice of the recipe. It is there for a reason. And in the case of this recipe it is very useful to leave it overnight. I can definitely recommend that it is really important to let the meat marinade overnight. It give the meat time to become tender and to absorb the lovely taste of the marinade. This overnight steak marinade is very tasty and delicious once the meat is on the coals. It is really quick to make! Just have all your ingredients nearby and add it together, pop the meat, cover and leave until ready to braai on the next day. I also double or triple the recipe so tat all the meat is well covered underneath the marinade. Treat yourself with the lovely Malva Pudding or Bread and Butter Pudding as dessert afterwards.

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