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Cooking up a Storm!

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Divisional Manager of Social Work, Josh Holland, has started to turn his passion for cooking into something more - here, he tells us about the phenomenon taking over Instagram. Ladies and gents, we give you 'Chef Cafu'...

What is Chef Cafu all about?

It started off as a bit of joke with my friends who would often take an interest and ask me what I was having for tea each evening, I’d send pictures to them and give them a breakdown of how to make things a couple of times a week.

From there I started posting them on my social media and it gained some interest, my ego was swelling by the day and soon I created the ‘Chef Cafu’ Instagram page (@chefcafu) to post my meals and tips on how to prep and cook meals.

Why the name 'Chef Cafu'?

Again, a little bit of a 'tongue in cheek' nickname, for those that know football, Cafu was a world-cup winning captain of Brazil, holding their all-time record for appearance. He happened to play in the same position as I do for my football team and that’s about where our similarities stop, but nevertheless the nickname stuck and has now become the internet food sensation with over 120 followers.

What does Chef Cafu actually do?

The more serious I took my cooking, the more I started thinking; who should I target? Who would get the most benefit from seeing my page? I thought about my situation; I work 40 hours a week in a busy job, I have a young 8 month old child at home and also have a ‘life’ outside of work including football and other hobbies. Yet, I manage to prepare and cook tasty meals with all this going on and I think sometimes other people just need a little inspiration or advice, so there we had it, I had my mission!

Most of the meals I cook are prepared and cooked with 30-40 minutes, allowing you to spend your time with your family, have some chill time but still enjoy a good homemade meal.

Some Chef Cafu Tips

There are couple of rules I live by which mean I always have the correct ingredients in and I also do this as cheap as possible without having to do multiple trips to the supermarkets each week:

1. Plan ahead – make a list of the meals you’d like to make at the end of week for the following week. You’ll find a lot of Italian dishes require similar ingredients, as do Chinese & Mexican this normally allows very little wastage or perished meat and veg. Once you have this list of ingredients head to your local supermarket and pick them up in one go – check the sell-by dates to make sure you are getting the most for your money.

2. Branded isn’t always the best– you do not always have to buy branded products, I have found that most of them have the exact same ingredients and contents, taste the same but cost 50% less!

3. Buy in bulk – especially with meat, I always go to my local butchers and surprisingly it works out at a similar cost to supermarkets but the quality of the meat is so much better. Once I have bought 1KG of chicken for example, I will freeze individually meaning I always have high-quality meat available

4. Leftovers make lunches - going back to the point of saving money and making tasty food as cheap as possible, I often cook more than I need to so I have some for the lunch the day after. Most of the foods I make can be reheated meaning I can enjoy it the day after too (plus it saves me money on buying McDonalds, KFC and Subway etc.).

If you have are interested in seeing more, head over to @chefcafu on Instagram, there is usually a new post everyday on there. Or if you are a Social Worker wanted advice on a new job role, I can always chuck a recipe or two in there for you to try!
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