Archives for February 2015

All Stars Raise R270 000 in 2014 Col’Cacchio Chef series


In 2009 I was invited to take part in the Col’cacchio Celebrity chef series in that year my contribution was a white anchovy pizza with roasted red peppers. In 2014 I was invited back with my Mrs Periwinkle pizza which was based on a memories of a  seafood pizza my mother brought back from Knysna when i was a youngster.

Col’Cacchio celebrity series raised R270000 for the Children’s hospital trust. It was an honour to be a part of this worthy cause.   All Stars raise R270 000 in 2014 Celebrity Chef Series




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Crush Online Content Contributions

One day as we was scanning through Twitter updates, we noticed a tweet from Crush Online – asking for content contributors for their online foodie magazine. We made contact with Matthew Ibbotson, the publisher or this exciting publication, and we now regularly provide content – for past contributions from the entire crewplease follow this link. Our latest contribution is on Crush 48 – the Romance Issue.




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Beef Carpaccio


This weeks menu highlight we feature beef carpaccio one of the many carpaccio we do at the hotel, slightly different to the first dish invented by Giuseppe Cipriani with its contrasts of white and red.  As a young chef while doing my training I was taught that only fillet was to be used, for me this never made any sense and it still makes no sense, why would you want to use the most tasteless cut. This dish needs more flavour so for years we have been using sirloin and lately we have started using topside as well as tender chuck. As the beef is sliced so thin we wanted it packed with real beef flavours that speak to you.

We have this featured in almost all our outlets, with Parmesan, rocket, lemon, drizzle of olive oil and mustard mayonnaise, which is not 100% true to tradition. It is  so light that even the countess Amalia would have approved and  it leaves enough space for that ravioli.

Personally I enjoy shavings of celery with shaved mushroom with lots of Parmesan to go with this beef favourite.


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Baby marrow and patty pan salad


Baby Marrow and Patty Pan Salad


100g thinly sliced baby marrows
100g thinly sliced patty pan
5g toasted sunflower seeds
5g toasted sesame seeds

5g pumpkin seeds

10g baby mix leaves

for the dressing:
1/2 cloves garlic
½ tsp ginger
½ chilli
1tsp chopped coriander
½ tsp  dijon mustard
½ tsp  honey
25 ml canola oil

12 ml rice wine vinegar

Juice of ½ lime

little zest
salt and pepper to taste


Finely chop or grate ginger and garlic add chopped coriander and chopped chilli.

Whisk the honey and mustard and add the vinegar add oil slowly to form a dressing.

Add the remaining dressing ingredients and stir.


Assemble the salad by tossing all the ingredients together with the dressing as required.


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Chefs table

october 2012 240

Chef Table Black Board Menu

Chef’s Table

The last four months have been a fantastic experience at our very small eatery at the heart and the soul of the  engine. With only four tables and a maximum of 12 guests,  it has become more than just a dinner experience. Everything from the sounds, noise, smells is unedited, it is raw. Everyday we start with a new script with no rehearsal, a blank canvass with only the raw ingredient and lots of ideas.  It is all about the food and what we as chefs enjoy eating and experiencing.

The centre stage, the ingredient, respect and transparency. We do not want to hide, we want to explore.

We say five courses but the reality is that it is slightly more. As we have so many processes that happen at any given time in the kitchen it is easy to be creative, from the salmon being cured in production, the duck confit in progress in the banqueting kitchen, the slow cooked lamb neck from the klein karoo, everything ends up being displayed and enjoyed at the chef’s table. No matter where it is destined for in the hotel, it must be good enough for the chefs table experience.

We want guest to enjoy and relax, enjoy the evening with a beer or favourite wine.

Be sure to ask one of the chefs what is available in the small deli fridge where we hide home made jam, chutney, atchar and duck rillettes.

Open every night from 18:30 except Sundays

Menu costs R595 p/p

Wine pairing R995 p/p

For reservations essential | +27-21-483 1948

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Abalimi Bezekhaya Salad 5

AB salad 5

In this weeks Abalimi salad we have kept things so basic, we received beautiful orange pumpkins which looked like a golden nugget, swiss chard, tomatoes, free range eggs and carrots. So we roasted the pumpkin, slow roasted slices of tomato, thin shavings of the carrot and kept the swiss chard nice and crispy all served with a poached egg.


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Quinoa salad

Quinoa salad 2

Quinoa salad

This easy salad was introduced on to the menu two seasons ago, thinking that we needed to a healthier option for the menu, I was making this at home and it was loosely based on a couscous salad I was making already, which was made up of nuts and seeds so we added some feta and sprouts, grilled chicken and then it remained on the menu ever since.

Quinoa and chicken salad
Yields enough for 6


400g cooked spiced de-boned chicken thigh cubed
156g cooked quinoa red
156g cooked bulgar wheat
156g cooked millet
20g toasted sesame seeds
60g crushed toasted cashew
60g dried cranberries
40g sunflower toasted
30g toasted almonds
40g pumpkin seeds toasted
50g goji berries
40g Dried cranberries
20g Italian parsley
200g Greek feta
30g spring onion
300g granny smith apple cubed skin on
30g mixed sprouts
20g pea shoots

120g basic vinaigrette
10ml Dijon mustard
10ml Honey

Combine basic vinaigrette with honey and mustard
Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine with vinaigrette.


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Introducing Craig Hibbert


Craig Hibbert

Craig Thomas Hibbert

I have never seen him angry, I have never seen him stress and he does not panic! NEVER!.

But a chef must have a weakness, in his case it is the love of making macarons and the anger that he shows when Man United is a goal down.

In September 2014 Craig returned to The Belmond Mount Nelson as the Executive Pastry Chef a position he aspired to since initially working at The Mount Nelson almost 16 years ago under Wade van der Merwe at the time.

Before he started to carve a career in the kitchen he completed an advertising diploma in graphic design before joining the madness.

His culinary career started as an apprentice in 1997 at the Cape Grace under Grant Cullingworth. Working his way around all the sections of the kitchen he found his passion in Pastry, as it was an amazing avenue to channel his creativity.

He left South Africa for London, working at the Dorchester and expanding his repertoire. Returning to South Africa in 2002 to get married, he and his wife, also a chef, returned to the UK to work at the new The Grove Hotel.

He and his wife returned to South Africa, where he was offered his first executive pastry position at The Palace of the Lost City and then relocated to Cape Town as a much larger family, where Craig took the position of Executive pastry chef at The Westin working again with Grant Cullingworth.

Look out for Craig’s favourites on the afternoon tea buffet like peppermint crisp crémeux, passion fruit delice, streusel crusted eclair and the yummiest home made strawberry jam served with clotted cream and warm baked scones

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Chef D’s Tartare

Chef Dee's tartare

Chef Dee’s tartare

Chef Dee’s Tartare

We have many secrets in a kitchen like ours, one is the secret spice mix in this tartare. Not even I am allowed to know what is in it. We serve the tartare as a starter or a main with slow cooked egg yolk from farmer Angus, the sweet and sour pickles, grass fed beef, char grilled baguettes,  through in some fries and you are good to go.

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Purple Kohlrabi



Walk in to most convenience stores and try find a kohlrabi, it is not going to happen. Finding this turnip cabbage is hard, but for chefs with friends, yes this would be Steve, it is slightly easier as he grows them almost through out the year.

Great raw, in a stew, soup, puree, baked, roasted and as part of a stir-fry.

Must peel them past the fibrous layer, once peeled a fine julienne works well with partners like apple and carrot. We get them purple as well as green, once peeled, a light yellow slightly green in colour. The young leaves work well in a salad and the older tougher leaves also work fantastically with stews or even as part of a stir-fry. If using them in  a salad they do have a tendency to be on the dry side, so extra moisture is needed in the dressing.

Kohlrabi slaw

2 medium kohlrabi, peeled and trimmed
1 cup shredded cabbage
3 green leaves from kohlrabi washed and finely shredded
1 carrots, grated
1 apple granny smith grated
walnuts crushed as needed

1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp toasted mustard seeds
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or more, if you prefer)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Chill for several hours before serving.


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