It was at this time that Gilly met Chris Duigan, a concert pianist, and started to hold classical music evenings in our new home. Chris would play the piano or invite talented musicians from around the world to play, while Gilly delighted guests with tasty treats from the family kitchen. It was at one of these concerts in 1999 that Gilly first decided to make nougat, getting inspiration from a little old French recipe book.
“My first batch of nougat was an absolute disaster,” Gilly recalls, “I had to keep it in the fridge to stop it running on to the floor!”
Never one to shy away from a challenge, and encouraged by friends and family, Gilly spent the next 6 months perfecting the recipe and started to sell it at the local farmers market. Soon the word spread and helpful owners of local stores started to stock it. Before long the family kitchen was a hive of activity and Taffy was up until the wee hours of the morning cutting nougat with a carving knife and a bread board.
Much has changed since the days of the family kitchen. The production line has moved to state-of-the-art facilities on our small farm in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, and now employs the whole family and roughly 60 production and admin staff.
But some things never will change, like Gilly’s tried and tested recipe, hand making our nougat in small batches and never taking short cuts with ingredients.