BY DEBBIE SHAW
For the first time, Labotec staff joined the employees from Batswadi Group, their new holding company in an Italian themed teambuilding day focussed on learning to make pasta at the world acclaimed Prue Leith Chefs Academy situated in Centurion. While the winter misty morning gave way to warm sunshine, the staff were separated into teams and embarked on the mission of learning the art of pasta making.
From four cheese Tortellini with tomato ragout, tagliatelle with classic basil pesto, Linguine with steamed mussels to classic lasagne, the Labotec/Batswadi team, in their tall chef hats tackled the homemade pasta recipes with the help and guidance of the chefs of Prue Leith, who expertly divulged this art form. Some were amazed at just how easy it can be to make basic pasta. Others decided that the more complicated dishes such as Oriechiette with broccoli and chilli, Ravioli, Prune stuffed gnocchi with blue cheese sauce, and feta rotolo with walnuts and brown butter were best left to the connoisseurs to make, or those with oodles of patience to painstakingly endure the lengthy preparation procedure. Emerging from the kitchen with many covered in flour, the staff sat down in the on-site restaurant, The Odd Plate, which was voted in the top twenty in the country, to enjoy the dishes of their labour.
The day ended with the annual Labotec prize giving awarding the staff achievers, and the chefs’ nominations for the top three dishes made that morning. Since then, all Labotec/Batswadi employees have removed their chef hats and returned to work inspired to help clients with quotes, queries and technical aspects of laboratory equipment, but since they are all in the know on how to make gnocchi or other Italian speciality pastas, you are welcome to ask them about this too.