Meet the school catering team and taste their cheesecake!

Stir fry, egg noodles, crispy tofu and a salad of Chinese cabbage and sweetcorn with a soy, lime, chilli and ginger dressing could be lunch at any top restaurant. In fact, it’s from the menu at Kisharon Noé School.

Catering Manager Jana Gocover with her team, Judy Wise and Vangel ‘Vani’ Tsani cook for 90 every day – 77 pupils with the remainder, teachers and other staff. 

Cooking for children with disabilities presents culinary challenges: some need their food ground to aid digestion, are gluten or dairy free or on a limited diet which can preclude all foods except potato, rice, pasta or noodles. 

Those able to enjoy the four-week rotating menu get to sample dishes that reflect Jana’s career which included jobs at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill, with the luxury Seabourn Cruise Line and at The Soho Hotel. 

On a day celebrating the US, children were served Virgin Pina Coladas made with pineapple juice, coconut milk and coconut flakes, there are spicy salad dressings with yoghurt and harissa and sometimes salty or sweet popcorn. 

Mostly, dessert is fruit but on Tu B’Shevat Jana created a cake in the shape of a tree with pomegranate seeds for leaves and sliced kiwi ‘grass’. On Yom Ha’atzmaut pupils tucked into a cake that was blue and white.

Jana admits she misses travelling the world of luxury liners and smart hotels but much prefers having normal working hours and no working weekends, particularly since the birth of her daughter, Olivia two years ago. 

Jana cooks from fresh wherever possible and recalls rolling 140 falafel which she made from scratch for Yom Ha’atzmaut. There was also homemade baba ganoush and humous. 

Jana says: “I love to eat. I’m a big foodie and everyone wonders why I’m so small when I eat so much.”

What though is Jana’s personal favourite dish? She says:  “It’s pizza!”

Salted Caramel Cheesecake recipe


For the crust:

  • 190g digestive biscuits/crackers
  • 60g mini pretzels
  • 90g butter, melted
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 4 cups (900g) cream cheese
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 1 cup (225g) sour cream
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • Lemon zest from one lemon
  • Pinch salt

For the caramel topping:

  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon flaky salt
  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. In a food processor or Ziploc bag crush cookies into fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until combined. Press into bottom of 9-inch (23cm) springform pan. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Set aside while making the filling.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  4. Make the filling: In a large bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at the time, beating to combine after each addition. Do not over beat. Add vanilla extract, sour cream, heavy cream, salt and beat until smooth. Add cornstarch and lemon zest, beat until incorporated. Do not over beat.
  5. Bake the cheesecake: Place the pan on a large piece of foil, and fold the foil up the sides of the pan. Pour the filling over the crust, place the pan inside a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to go halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 50-65 minutes or until the edge is set but the centre jiggles slightly. Turn off the heat and leave it another hour in the oven. Let cool to room temperature for one hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Make the salted caramel topping: place the sugar into a saucepan and heat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick golden brown coloured liquid as you continue to stir. Once all the sugar has melted and turned golden in colour, remove the sauce pan from heat, add in the butter right away. Stir quickly until the butter is incorporated. Then add in the room temperature heavy cream and stir quickly again to incorporate everything together.
  7. Add salt and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute. Allow to cool.

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