About The Book

What you can expect from a Sprig of Rosemarie

A ‘Sprig of Rosemarie’ is an unusual cookery book as each recipe connects with a memorable story of my cooking career.

Savour the likes of the classic Coq au Vin or titillate your guests with Florentine Nutty Tart or whip up a batch of Jonah’s Gingers for a teatime treat, whatever recipe you try it will be a winner. Elegant or homespun, within these covers are a lifetime of magical meals that are in themselves a memoir. With their beautiful photographs and the accompanying stories that make you laugh out loud, you will turn the pages in anticipation of the next adventure.

From prepping in hangars, restoring power or ducking under garden sprinklers – I’ve seen it all. Making a plan is my mantra, even if it does means sending legs of lamb to friends in the French countryside to be cooked in their home ovens when the power tripped: there is a solution for everything.  As with all good parties the guests sometimes overindulge – whether it be the vodka trip while playing bridge or a g-string floating in the pool after a wedding – slightly saucy but for ever discreet.


WHEN I THINK of Rosemarie Saunders, I think of this Phoenix risen from the ashes, she’s proof that big things come in small parcels and she is bright and chirpy like a little bird, and is desperately in love with anything food.

Born and brought up in the English Counties, Rosemarie studied at Hotel & Catering School which set her up for a life in food. From corporate catering, to boardroom, to any number of functions where people would say afterwards, “Rosemarie Saunders did the food.”

Rosemarie started her journey in food in Cape Town by giving cookery lessons from her home kitchen, this, like Topsy in the night grew into a catering business, event management, food and wine tours to France, cookery books, food supplies to farm stalls, contracts to cater and teach in foreign parts of the world. Then fate stepped in and one evening her business premises burnt down.

She rose with grace like a Phoenix from the ashes. And she carried on. When I think of her now, I think of her transforming the freshest of ingredients into great food, bustling about packing platters into her car, for cocktail parties, for grand buffets in clients homes, teaching eager attendees to her Cookery Classes, training and uplifting her loyal staff.

This book is a tribute to her, her contribution to the food industry in Cape Town, her life in food and the recipes she developed over the years. Bustle on, dear Rosemarie. No one can say your life has been dull …

Michael Olivier

Wine and Food Commentator and Broadcaster

Some Sample Stories & Recipes

Just 3 of the more than 100 recipes and tales included in the book.

A long the Cote d’Azur one comes across many versions of the traditional Marseilles bouillabaisse, some outstanding and some just awful. It is quite a tiresome process to make the old-fashioned way, so when I had my cookery school, I devised this recipe which became an alltime favourite in my catering business and at the …

Just do it! Making your own pasta is just so satisfying, whether you have a pasta machine or not. When my daughter was at prep school, I arranged afternoon classes of pasta-making. The girls would come to our kitchens after school and make pasta to take home for dinner. We would have sheets of pasta …

When thinking of nougat, memories come flooding back of our Provençal Kitchen tours that I used to take to France in the 90’s. The groups would stay at a hilltop Bastide hotel deep in the Provençal countryside. We would show off the department of the Var with trips to Roger Verge and the truffle experience …