Lucky Star ‘You Can with Fish’ cookbook puts healthy eating in a can!


As bloggers we are invited to a diversity of functions to launch new products and menus.  The launch of Tamsin Snyman’s new cookbook for Lucky Star, ‘You Can with Fish’, was one of the most unusual, with great attention paid to the theme of the product, and some of the recipes in the cookbook forming the meal we were served for lunch.  The launch expressed the Lucky Star pay-off line ” Eat better. Live better”.

Banners with different recipes depicted in the cookbook welcomed the guests on arrival, on a beautiful Spring day at the recently renovated Granger Bay Hotel School Restaurant, almost at the ocean’s edge. I waited to be seated with MasterChef SA Finalist Lungi Nhlanhla, who now is the deputy Food editor of Drum magazine.  I was lucky to sit between Tamsin and Errieda du Toit, whose PR consultancy had organised the function, which meant that I could obtain additional information from both.  Tamsin impressed with her professionalism, being present and in charge of the event, despite her husband Chris having undergone serious surgery a few days prior. The marine theme was interpreted with origami boats in different sizes, which were part of a Lucky Star product display on each table, including Light meat shredded tuna, Pickled pilchard cutlets, Curried Pilchard cutlets, Pilchards in tomato sauce, South African sardines, Middlecut, and Pilchards in hot chilli sauce.

Tamsin has taken over her late mother’s Lannice Snyman Publishers, and the company has published the third cookbook for Oceana Brands, following ‘Cooking with Canned Pilchards‘ in 2003, and ‘Out of the Can’ in 2009, which marked the 50th anniversary of the brand. ‘You Can with Fish’ is divided into three sections, with 29 recipes that take 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes to prepare, and appeal to all members of the family. Time-saving tips for busy cooks are shared in the cookbook. The beautiful styling and photography for the book was done by husband and wife team Diane and Christoph Heierli, whose work impresses in every issue of WineStyle.

Shân Biesman-Simons, the Director of Nutrition and Education at The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, emphasised the health benefits for the heart of eating tuna, pilchards, and sardines, being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and therefore the Lucky Star range carries the Heart Mark.  The brand’s product range is included in The Heart and Stroke Foundation Eating Plan, and is approved by Diabetes South Africa.  The products do not contain preservatives or artificial colouring.  Additional health benefits of the Lucky Star products are that the protiens are more easily digested than those in meat; the calcium strengthens bones; they contain iron, iodine and vitamins A and B; they have selenium, an immune booster, which helps to prevent cancer and heart disease; and the tomato sauce in the products contains lycopene, an anti-oxidant protecting against heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.  September is Heart Month, and therefore the cookbook is well-timed to educate South Africans about healthier eating.

Each guest was given a menu, and we were invited to ‘unleash your inner foodie!‘ On arrival, Pilchard bunny chow and sardine samoosas were served.  For the main course, seven dishes were brought to the table, all from the cookbook, prepared by the Granger Bay Hotel School Restaurant chef Jerome Peters, and were Tuna fishcakes with tartare sauce; Pilchard, marrow and mushroom cottage pie; curried pilchards, samp and corn; Sardine pancake bake; Tuna and mushroom casserole; and pickled pilchards with pap and spinach. Errieda had cleverly sourced ‘Gone Fishing’ cider by James Mitchell’s from Elgin, to match the theme!  The cookbook also has recipes for wraps, breyani, curries, bobotie, goulash, omelette, casseroles, and bakes.

In addition to the cookbook, 400000 leaflets with a selection of ten recipes out of the cookbook were printed, for distribution with magazines, at food shows, and at expos.

Disclosure: We received a Lucky Star shopping bag with the media kit, the cookbook, and a selection of the company’s canned products.

You Can with Fish’, Lannice Snyman Publishers. Available at leading bookstores.  R85,50.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: Twitter: @WhaleCottage

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2 replies on “Lucky Star ‘You Can with Fish’ cookbook puts healthy eating in a can!”

  1. Errieda says:

    Chris, thanks for spending the afternoon with us at the launch of Tamsins’s book. This is a great overview of the day. Hope you have folded your own origami boat by now from the instructions in the pom-pommed goodie bag.

    Just a note – Tamsins’s husband Chris is home after the op and recuperating. He’s op was on the previous Saturday, not the day of the launch.

    Hope you have some sardines on toast this weekend. A dash of lemon, pepper, some Tabasco. Simple done perfectly.

  2. Thank you Errieda, and thank you for the invitation.

    I am so happy that my almost-crashed blogpost could be recovered. I was wondering how I would do your compliment justice, having written the blogpost after the launch on Tuesday.


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