Pick n Pay “Finest” challenge

The Pick n Pay Finest range blogger cooking event. Pick n Pay goodie bag | Milk and Cookies Here’s the thing about food, it’s communal; people standing around a kitchen, drinking, snacking, chatting.

When I arrived at the Pick N Pay workshop, I wondered two things.  One, why is Kenilworth so far from Sea Point, and two, how would the other bloggers treat me?  I rarely, very rarely call myself a blogger, I don’t want to be a shitty writer and blogger and turn out way more completely average than what I thought I was.  So I just stick to: I am a writer.

My editor organised for me to go to this event, boasting about my ability to hang with the other foodies, another word I rarely call myself.  And, so, I had the duration of the journey there, getting lost, and then drinking the watermelon martini Georgie gave me to consider how an evening full of knowing no one could potentially go. I am in no way able to play it cool, in no way.

Georgie, one of the ladies who organised the event, offered to introduce me to everyone, and as I said sure, I held back behind the cocktail table pretending to fiddle with my camera. See….

Pick n pay bloggers workshop event | Milk and Cookies

I recognized people from local T.V. and did the awkward, I know you but do you know me type deal, with the glance here and there and maybe a general nod in their direction.  Some people I had food crushes on (in a totally normal way…) I’d be more at ease if they’d started out with chocolate.

Then, they tricked us.

We stood in a circle as the team leaders laughed at us with eyes wide open detailing how the evening would then go on.  I should have seen it coming, but was hoping that the first time I’d be cooking for people I hadn’t met before wouldn’t be for other food fanatics.  I was, clearly, mistaken.

In the workshop was an over flowing basket of groceries for us to use, free range chicken, herbs, parma ham, cheese, funky mushrooms, and veggies.  Scattered around the room however was a full kitchen of whatever we could want, totally Iron Chef of them.   Their finest range was actually quite photogenic, obviously on purpose, no one wants to pay for bad branding. But the flavours were good and something I’d revisit.

The chickens were cooked, some people were stressed, I mean me, and some were sipping wine and boozing out after spending 10 minutes on stuffing the chicken with veg and popping it into the oven.  I need to learn how to cook faster meals.  It was very clear who had children (@rumtumtiggs knew how to get a meal together in a hot flash) and who was not as quick.

The range included some awesome preserves, chutney, sauces, oils, and pastas.  I am now kicking my own ass for not using pasta and thinking one big ass sandwich was a good idea for people who would already be full on wine and appetizers.  Can’t a girl just love some bread? It was such a pleasure to cook in a kitchen with endless space, endless crockery and cookery, and these products that pretty much tasted good right out of the bottle.

The sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus were the inspiration for these quichelettes:

Pick n Pay bloggers workshop | Milk and Cookies

We made chicken, some was chopped, most were roasted, @Foodmonger made some sort of sushi chicken, although I think in technical terms it’s called a roulade?

The night continued with mostly laughter, a few tears, no not really, no one seemed to be stressed.  It was fantastic.  And, I got a killer knife, which makes me unbelievably grateful.   My current kitchen and tools situation is sub par and super shit, imagine how many times I’ve cut myself with a blunt utensil (also because I’m a moron).

And, I got a super American sized take-away box, which at first I was shy about and then got real with myself and loaded my box up with goodies from the evening.

And, and, some photos taken mostly by Gary.

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Follow @MilkandCookieSA on twitter for more foodventures.

Follow the other bloggers in this post: @Rumtumtiggs @KoekiesEnCream @GorgeousGourmet @FoodMonger @_Realmencancook  @BettyBakeBlog @BecomingYouBlog @mzansicuisine



  1. We had so much fun! Thanks Milk and Cookies for sharing these lovely photos!

  2. Ah thank you for the post — we really enjoyed having you! Mmm those pics are making me hungry!

  3. Your writing makes me wish I was there. More on the web Susie

  4. I am so sorry I could not make this! It looks like loads of fun and yummy eating! It was nice meeting you on Saturday!

  5. Great post 🙂 so glad to have finally met you! I didn’t even get to talk to you at this event and only met you on Saturday – so silly of me!!! oh well 🙂 it was crazy fun and I did stress in the beginning!! I mean I was worrying that we would have to talk infront of everyone about our dishes – but we didn’t – yay!!! and phew (relief)
    have a great day

  6. Love all your posts. How do I get them on my laptop?

  7. […] here. Shaina from @MilkandCookiesSA also wrote a lovely post about the evening and you can find it here (and look out for the pic of yours truly giving her chicken a massage worthy of an upmarket spa […]

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