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ASO in the Kitchen with Danielle Jaquillard

21 Jul 2020
  • Musician Spotlight
by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
ASO in the Kitchen with Danielle Jaquillard

Tutti Violin Danielle Jaquillard is an avid baker and seems to know just the right time to bring cakes into the office for an ASO morale boost. Her cakes are often sprinkled with edible glitter to bring some extra joy. We thought this was the perfect time to share one of Danni’s much-loved recipes, one she brings regularly for rehearsal breaks with the orchestra.

Danni’s had some time on her hands whilst the orchestra has been unable to perform concerts, so she’s been volunteering to make soup for those in need at Café Outside the Square. She says “I needed to be doing something, and it has been the most rewarding relationship. I have found new friends and we have a fantastic time. It has reminded me that kindness, generosity and having empathy is the only way”.

Get the whisk out this weekend and whip up Danielle’s comforting Carrot Cake.

You’re a foodie and a fab cook. What/who inspired your love of cooking and sharing your goodies with the orchestra?
It’s in my genes! I am of Mediterranean descent, I grew up with fabulous family cooks, aunties, grandmas and of course my mum. As a child, my practising room was right next to the kitchen and I would practise to my Mum whilst she was cooking, so I think I absorbed a lot from that environment. My fondest recipe I would request from my mum was stuffed capsicums. They were red capsicums, stuffed with a minced meat and rice filling with currents, baked in a rich tomato sauce in the oven, they were so tasty!

I love baking and bringing it to work because everyone enjoys a treat, plus I would get too fat if I left it at home.

People often find solace in cooking and eating. Is that the case for you?
There are many facets to why I love cooking. I love creating and making something from scratch and I am an emotional human being so food is my way of sharing my love. Also as a Mediterranean, we love feeding people. For me, it’s very therapeutic and cooking allows me a distraction from the hustle and bustle of everyday life’s ups and downs. During COVID I have been an absolute monster in the kitchen, taking food parcels all over Adelaide to brighten others’ days and hopefully bring them some joy.

Did you find yourself baking more whilst we are in COVID-19 isolation?
Yes I have been baking but cooking anything I fancy too!

Every week I head to the farmers market at Wayville. I don’t go with a list, I buy whatever is in season. When I get home I take a photo of the bounty of produce, like a still life photo, and it gets me thinking for the rest of the week what I can cook up and feed my family and friends.

I also set up a What’s App group chat with colleagues and we shared photos of our dinner each night, it was a great way of staying connected and great fun was had ‘breaking bread so to speak’ each night. There was no competition, we’d simply share our recipes and it has been a beautiful way to share our love of food and stay connected during COVID.

What do you love about cooking?
Baking is fun! You just put stuff in a bowl, mix it up, pop it in the oven and voila! The truth is that I find it quite therapeutic. It also allows me to be creative. But most of all I like to share my creations with the people I love and especially now during COVID-19.

Is there cooking rivalry in the orchestra? Who would be the head chef and why?
No head chef, we just all enjoy baking and sharing our goodies. Everyone brings their own style! Renae Stavely makes delicious Greek food, Jill Braithwaite is a baking queen, whilst Liz Collins is a perfectionist and her cakes look and taste as though they have been bought at the shops. There are many great cooks in the orchestra.

Most requested recipe?
I always get asked to bring my famous Crème Caramels. The recipe was given to me by my best friend’s mum growing up.

What is your favourite recipe?
I love everything but I’d say pasta because it’s quick comfort food and it’s versatile.

Do you have any cooking tips or secrets?
Try meatloaf, it has a bad reputation but it is so tasty. Put love into it!

Describe your last supper. What would be on the menu and who would be at the dinner table?
My last supper I would invite Maggie Beer, a fabulous woman and inspiring cook, Simon Bryant because he’s awesome, and an open invitation to the rest of the world, I say the more the merrier.

On the menu would be any recipe by Maggie Beer as I’d be wanting to impress the doyenne of cooking in South Australia (and Crème Caramels of course!).

What music do you like to listen to when you are in the kitchen?
Funny enough I don’t listen to much at home as I don’t like a lot of noise, I feel very sensitive to noise. At first, I thought I was just getting old and irritable, but as a musician in an orchestra, your ears are switched on to hear what is going on around you and my ears are so tuned to be on high alert that when I am at home I like to surround myself with quiet.

What’s your favourite cuisine?
I love Asian food because it’s salty and sweet and satisfies my tastebuds. Having said that I am not a master of Asian cuisine still trying but it’s never as good as I’d like it to be.

What’s your favourite South Australian restaurant or café, and why do you love it?
I love La Trattoria, classic Italian cuisine, served with love.

What’s your favourite take-away?
We very rarely get takeaway as I often find it disappointing and would prefer to cook.

Sweet or savoury?
Definitely a sweet tooth.

Danielle’s Carrot Cake

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs (vegan option: apple sauce or egg replacer)
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
2 cups self-raising flour
2 cups finely grated carrot (approx. 4 large carrots) or substitute 2 cups for grated apple
1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg

Heat your oven to 180 °C (160 °C fan-forced). Beat sugar and oil until thick, then add 1 egg at a time and keep beating for a few more minutes. Combine salt, bicarb, grated carrot, flour, walnuts and spices. Put batter into a well-greased loaf tin or pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!

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