At the Table with Jacquie Bancroft
Jacquie has been member of the Peter Bouchier team for many years. She knows our customers well and is always willing to offer suggestions. Like many of our customers, Jacquie is a busy mum, her weekends revolving around netball, footy and cricket. With fourth term of the school year looming, we caught up with Jacquie to talk all things family and food related, and see if she has any tips for making it through the final term.
- Jacquie, after a day at work followed by after school commitments, do you have a go-to easy dinner that you fall back on?
I don’t really have a quick dish that I keep up my sleeve. I actually get some really good ideas from customers! Working at Peter Bouchier’s I spend my day talking to customers about what they are cooking and serving their families, which inspires me to cook different things all the time. It’s really easy for me to pick something from the window and then pop into Toscanos for the accompanying salad or veg. Then I can go straight to the after school commitments without stopping anywhere. I’m really quite lucky!
- Spending your weekends at school sports, what does a normal Saturday night at your place involve?
I put my slow cooker on in the morning before the day starts, that way we can enjoy the day and then relax in the evening after a busy week. We usually have a casual dinner, outside if its warm. My husband, David, and I usually have a couple of glasses of wine and catch up about the week. The kids usually leave us in peace – watching movies or at friends’ houses.
- What is your favourite meal to prepare when entertaining guests?
I love to have friends over for meals and socialise in our own space. I don’t like being stuck in the kitchen when our guests have arrived, I much prefer to be chatting and sipping a glass of wine or champagne with our friends. So I am always strategic when planning the menu for entertaining. I’ll go for a warm beef salad using the flat iron steak or hickory rib eye that David will cook on the barbeque, and I will already have prepared the salad. Otherwise one of my favourites is pork belly, which I cook for 5 hours, and is always a hit! It’s another no fuss option as I’ve done all the hard work before the guests have arrived and all that is left to do is take it out of the oven and serve.
- What food do you usually recommend for customers who have children’s sleepovers and parties at their house?
We have some really classic kid friendly food at Peter Bouchiers. I always recommend chicken spare ribs and drummettes as well as chipolatas or cocktail frankfurts served in little table rolls like mini hotdogs. Our sausage rolls are also great, cutting them into three pieces for bite sized finger food and of course the mint and rosemary lamb cutlets are always a winner – the handle on the cutlet making it easy to eat for children and so tender.
I also suggest making something for the adults to have too, if it’s a party where parents are invited. I make mini burgers using the Thai chicken burgers, making about 2 mini burgers per patty, and I add sweet chilli sauce and a little bit of rocket, served in dinner rolls. The cevapcici are a great option for this too and they have a nice chilli kick.
- This time of year is really busy with end of year activities, how do you manage to make it through to Christmas in one piece!?
The most important thing is to make time for yourself. Even if it’s a 20 min walk or just staying at home on afternoon and reading a good book, it really makes a difference for my sanity! It is a stressful time of year and I often go on a health kick and try to get to the gym through November leading up to Christmas otherwise I run out of energy, we are really busy at work through December with Christmas orders so I need stamina and strength for all those hams! A glass of wine in the evenings doesn’t go astray either!
Say hi to Jacquie next time you’re in the Toorak store, she'll be more than happy to help you with ideas for dinner!