and anything to do with food.

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithpaula #privatechef

About Paula Mainstone
Personal Chef - Cape Town

Simple, Healthy but Super Delicious Food

I love watching food shows, reading recipe books, tasting new foods, recipe testing & development and lately have discovered baking.

I love savouring the different layers of Asian cuisine, the umami in Japanese, the rich sauces of France, the simple fresh ingredients of Italy, the flavours of my heritage, Portugal.

My love of cooking started when my husband’s (personal trainer) clients started asking me to cook healthy dishes for them.

I then worked at Ginger & Lime Food Studio for 6 years where we concentrated on interactive cooking sessions with our guests, did all sorts of private functions – from baby showers to birthdays, Masterchef  cookoffs, etc. 

This is where my love for private cheffing began – to go into someone’s home and get them to enjoy my love of cooking – whether they do an interactive session with me or I cook a sit down dinner – I love the intimacy, social interaction and freedom to cook something delicious for them.

During lockdown I started food.made.simple on Instagram to help people cook simple, healthy and delicious meals.

Just before and after lockdown, I participated in 2 TV cooking competitions with other team members – one of which I won dish of the day with fabulous prizes and the other, our team won the episode.

I also won a fantastic 1st prize in the lunch category (decadent burger with papaya compote and fresh papaya salsa) for Neofresh.

Chocolate Torte with Berry Coulis & Fresh Fruit

Ingredients for Chocolate Torte

  • 250g Marie / Tennis biscuits
  • 100 g melted butter (or more if needed to make the crust buttery)
  • 250ml fresh cream
  • 50 g demerara sugar
  • 300g of 85% dark chocolate OR 150g dark &150g milk chocolates
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract
  • a handful assorted berries of your choice


  1. Blitz biscuits in a food processor until the crumbs are fine
  2. Add the melted butter to the crumbs and stir and break up with your hands until the biscuits are a little sticky (add more butter if still too dry)
  3. Empty the biscuits into a 32cm rectangular / round baking dish and press down with a spoon to flatten to make it smooth
  4. Refrigerate to firm up the crumb mixture
  5. Chop up the chocolate into small pieces and place into a large bowl
  6. Heat the cream and sugar gently until all the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and add in the vanilla
  7. Pour heated cream mixture onto the chocolate and leave for 2 minutes to soak in, then stir thoroughly until the chocolate is silky smooth
  8. Pour the chocolate mixture into the the chilled tart abe and refrigerate again for 2 – 3 hours until it is firm.

Cut into squares /long narrow rectangles/slice. Serve with berry coulis, fresh fruit & a sprig of mint.

This is a great dessert for a dinner party as it can be made ahead of time and you can really jazz it up with different toppings, edible glitter & decorations

Paula Mainstone

Ingredients for Berry Coulis

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup strawberries  
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar (start with 1/2 cup – taste and add rest if needed)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (to taste)

The berries can be fresh or frozen. Cut the strawberries up into smaller pieces


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan
  2. Simmer on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved
  3. Taste and adjust the sugar by adding in a little more if needed – heat to dissolve again
  4. Let the berry mixture cool down a little, then puree in a blender
  5. Pour back in the saucepan – add some more lemon juice if required – let reduce until it has reduced but still has a pouring consistency 
  6. Strain though a fine sieve to get rid of the seeds

The coulis should be sweet with an underlying tartness from the lemon juice. Any leftovers can be frozen and defrosted for another purpose. Can be mixed with yogurt/labneh over pancakes/flapjacks or with cream for a cake topping, on icecream and much more.

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithpaula #privatechef

Prawn Fried Rice

• 2 tbsp oil
• 12 shelled prawns
• 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 spring onions, finely sliced (keep some aside for garnish)
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 – 2 cups cooked rice
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
• Handful fresh coriander

Paula Mainstone

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok/big non stick pan
2. Add prawns and stir fry until pink & cooked – remove from pan & set aside
3. Heat remaining oil & gently fry garlic,spring onion, red pepper & lastly ginger for a few seconds
4. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce to the eggs & pour into the hot wok, cook until just set
5. Add cooked rice, break up the egg & heat through
6. Add the rest of soy sauce & sesame oil
7. Serve topped with sesame seeds, fresh coriander & sliced spring onions
8. Enjoy!

Suggested wine: Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noire

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithpaula #privatechef