Archives for April 2016

Mackerel with wilted baby gem and a charred potato dressing

Crush Rudi14

Credit – Crush Online

Mackerel with wilted baby gem and a charred potato dressing

Fish choices have become a big challenge, as we are limited with choices. We try and buy responsible where possible. In many parts of the world mackerel has been fished beyond sustainable levels. We are still fortunate that we have access to mackerel for now. With an oily flesh, rich in omega-3 it make a great health choice as well as being great to cook on the open fire.

Yield: 4 people


2 whole mackerel, gutted and cleaned
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp course salt
2 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 small garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp apricots jam
Sprigs thyme
4tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp zest

2 heads baby gem lettuce washed
2 medium potato
120 ml olive oil
60ml lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
4 garlic cloves roasted
Salt as needed


Score mackerel on each side

Light fire
While the fire is working, place potato straight into fire and cook until soft, remove and allow to cool slightly.
Place 4 garlic cloves in foil with some olive oil and salt and roast close to the fire until soft, remove and mash roughly, combine with salt pepper and olive oil
Remove potatoes, cut in half and scoop out warm soft potato into a bowl, put aside.

Combine all marinade and basting ingredients.
Baste fish lightly place on grill.
Cook for about 5 minutes a side, check for doneness.
Remove, spoon remaining marinade over mackerel. Leave some basting for when the fish is finished.
While it is resting place lettuce on grill. Wilt on open fire edges will burn slightly.
Combine with lightly crushed potatoes, roasted garlic, lemon, olive oil and lemon juice


If you do not have a fire cook fish under the grill.

Time the fish takes to cook will be determined by the size and thickness.

The majority of our fish comes of a green list with a small percentage coming of the orange list set up by SASSI as a guideline to assist us in making correct choices. Between customer demands, supply, the weather and the green list we are sometimes left with small amount to choose from. Yes we do make mistakes with the odd fish coming from the wrong side of the list.

Please follow and like us:

No Comments

And Thank You (sounds of silence)


a good year!

The lack of good reliable chefs, the shortage of solid available skills and constant staff shortages has received a lot of coverage in the past few months. We are no different as we suffer the same as any other kitchen. Filling spaces on the line has had its challenges. Soon we will have to relook the way we cook and design menu’s. We still continue the search for that sparkle in the eye.

But this story is not about finding the right person, this is about a group of individuals going beyond the call of duty, beyond the barrier of pain. We never mention the pain and the suffering we put our families through for a cause that we sometimes struggle to fully understand. It is hard when you never spend holidays with loved ones, but instead, you apron up next to fellow chefs for another service.

Last Christmas was no different to any other before, we were fully booked in every corner of the hotel, we know what is coming, we prepare, we are prepped to the ceiling and ready cook hard, really hard. But Christmas and the week that followed in 2015 was a new character test for me and my staff.

As we settled to start service in the main kitchen, the lights went out! We counted the seconds expecting the micros to start its spluttering again. Just echoes of silence. No one panicked as we have regular power failures, this was going to routine. Instead, scribblings on paper indicating orders for the night started appearing. With minimal light, we started scrambling for torches, candles it was going to be long night. News arrived that the main breaker blew up!

By 01:00 the sounds of silence echoed through our kitchen, the humour had left our systems, nothing was funny anymore, we could not see the end. Instead we saw darkness, seeing the faces of our fellow chefs might have discouraged us even more. By 2:00 all the refrigerated trucks were loaded. The critical foods were saved. Remember this was food for a week that we had to find cold storage for as all the suppliers were closed.

We went home way after our usual late night bed time, with the adrenaline still rushing through my system, bed had to wait. With a beer in hand I still had to process.

By five most of us were back to try and salvage what was left. After all it was Christmas day.

With every shift hand over we were all hoping for power, reality had not set in, as we realise that if the power had to come back on, it will still take two days to get to fifth gear and be able to do service in all areas.

Two days after Christmas we still had nothing but candle light and gas. Food still had to be served. It was while I sat in darkness after service, I realised how special my staff were. They were all at work, they all made Festive holidays a success. Our expectations remained high, they just continue to deliver.

I do not have the words to thank my staff for the effort and dedication working by candle light, with no ovens, moving produce back and forth, no extractors or light.

Not a single person complained, they all just simply pulled together with every plate and very buffet leaving the kitchen without visible effort. Our staff hid their pain in silence, silently wishing for an end to the madness.

Thank you to my chefs, commis and scullers. You gave more than what was reasonability expected. Thank you for being part of a great team and a great family. No one disappointed! Not only was this a low point, but a high point in my life as chef.

We were only to be back to full five days later. This is the second time in my life that I have experienced a powerless Christmas, but it feels

* Special Thanks to

Wynand at Extreem Kwizeen for bring through refrigerated trucks at 12:00 at night

Kerston Foods for additional refrigerated trucks

Schmidhauser for getting the power going

Woodstock bakery for sorting us with good bread

Please follow and like us:

No Comments

Calling on South Africans to support #SAOlympicChef

Team SA_Olympic Group_low res

Cricket fans have the Proteas. Rugby fans have the Springboks. And South African food-lovers have a team of men and women in chef’s whites who will be flying the South African flag when they compete against over 40 nations in the IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany, in October this year.

“The IKA Culinary Olympics is the oldest and most prestigious global culinary competition; an event that, like the sporting Olympics, takes place only once every four years. The South African National Culinary Team is honoured to participate once again. We have been hard at work for four years, fine-tuning and practicing our Olympic menu to prepare ourselves for one of the toughest challenges on the culinary calendar,” explains the manager of South African National Culinary Team, Heinz Brunner of Crown Outsourcing Consultants.

The chefs of the South African National Culinary Team are:

• Henrico Grobbelaar of Southern Sun The Cullinan
• Dion Vengatass of Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
• Blake Anderson of 3SIXTY and Billy G, Montecasino
• Jerome Norton of Four Seasons, The Westcliff Hotel
• Kirstin Hellemann of Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
• Minette Smith of HTA School of Culinary Art
• Arno Ralph of Lindt & Sprungli

SA Advisors to the team include Chef Garth Shnier, Executive Chef of Sandton Sun, Sandton Convention Centre and InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton and member of the World Association of Chefs Societies Culinary Guidelines Committee (advisor on competition rules, guidelines and cold kitchen).

Chef David Higgs, Chef Patron of Marble Restaurant (hot kitchen advisor); and Martin Kobald, owner of ChefMLK School of Cooking (international trends and judging).
In the spirit of the wording on the team emblem “Masakhane” – which means let’s build each other – the South African National Culinary Team is inviting the nation to follow their journey to the IKA Culinary Olympics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under their newly-launched hashtag #SAOlympicChef.

“A strong show of support and interest on social media by our fellow South Africans and foodies will give our team a tremendous boost towards bringing home the gold. Messages of encouragement should include the hashtag #SAOlympicChef,” adds Brunner. The South African National Culinary Team brought back a gold medal in the Hot Kitchen section in 2008 – the first gold to be won by South Africa in 16 years. In the same year, the South African National Culinary Team was awarded the official South African team status by the Department of Arts and Culture’s Bureau of Heraldry.

The 2016 Culinary Olympics will take place from 22 to 25 October in Erfurt, Germany, with about 40 countries competing. The teams will have five-and-a-half hours to prepare their three-course menus to serve 110 people.

The South African National Culinary Team’s Olympic menu features:
Starter: Cape Crayfish ‘Malay’ – poached crayfish, pressed carrot terrine, carrot mayonnaise and Malay curry sauce.
Main Course: Springbok ‘Masakhane’ – pan-roasted loin of springbok, rolled veal sweetbreads, red cabbage and cider purée, savoy cabbage and Boulangére potato.
Dessert: Textured Splash of Raspberry, Rose, Coconut & White Chocolate – coconut sand, coconut sorbet, coconut sponge, rose jelly, rose meringue, raspberry mousse, and raspberry jelly.

In mid-March, the South African National Culinary Team prepared their menu for a group of celebrities, media, bloggers and foodies, who continue to share news about the team and their various activities on their different social media platforms. The team’s itinerary leading up to the Olympics in October includes displaying the cold table at Food & Hospitality Africa expo at Gallagher Convention Centre on 3 May; on 20 June the team will be preparing a by-invitation-only dinner for 110; on 18 July, the Team will be preparing another by-invitation-only dinner for 110 at the Mount Nelson Hotel; and finally the team practice concentrating on the Cold Table will take place on 19 and 20 September respectively.

“We are going to the Olympics as proud ambassadors of South Africa and representatives of a great heritage of culinary excellence in this country,” says Brunner. “We will put in all the necessary hours to do our country proud – and we’re delighted at the growing support we are getting from people within the culinary industry and from the general public. It’s inspiring!”

The South African National Culinary Team will be participating in the IKA Culinary Olympics under the auspices of the South African Chefs Association. Their participation has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of headline sponsor LSC/Imperial, along with accommodation partner the City Lodge Hotel Group and partners ChefWorks, Turn ‘n Slice and N1 Restaurant Suppliers.

The official press statement can be downloaded here.

Untitled design

Please follow and like us:

No Comments





As winter is approaching, rain falling and the fire burning. This will warm the soul. Reminds me of Durban in Cape Town almost like a meatball Gatsby.  I was even contemplating adding cheese on top and melting it.



2 onions, peeled and finely diced
2 ea garlic, peeled chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
4 chillies, 2 chopped 2 slit down centre
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp toasted and crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp toasted and crushed cumin seeds
8 ea curry leaves
5g turmeric powder
1tbsp canola oil
1tbsp clarified butter
Water as needed
6 ea tomatoes, grated
Pinch sugar as needed
Chopped coriander

Add the onion to the oil and butter cook the onions until soft and translucent add water if it starts catch, cook away
add all spices cook another 5 minutes until the spices become fragrant
Add a little more butter if needed
Add the turmeric and curry leaves to the onions and cook the spice for a further 3-5 minutes, until fragrant
Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and mix through – cook a further 3-5 minutes, and then add tomatoes
Add water if needed
Finish with coriander

Makes about 25 -30ea
500g minced beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 chilli chopped very fine
4 slices cubed bread
¼ cup milk
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground paprika
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
½ tsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
½ tsp cumin powder
1tsp salt
1tsp Worchester sauce
1tsp chutney
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Soak bread in milk add all ingredients together and combine well
Form the frikkadels into golf ball size ball and press to flatten slightly
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and brown the meatballs on both sides or bake in oven.
Place in heated chutney to finish

6 prego rolls
150ml yoghurt
Fresh coriander
2 tomatoes sliced
Butter for rolls
Mixed vegetable atchar

Butter rolls and toast
Place tomato slices on each
Top with 5ea  Frikadelle per roll
Top with yoghurt
Picked coriander

Please follow and like us:

No Comments

Roast Chicken!

RudiLi (3)

Roast Chicken

I know this is not what one would expect when ordering roast chicken. But everything is roasted and then turned into little pockets of heaven. This dish changes every now and then as we change garnishes or how the breast is cooked, but essentially it is about using every bit of the chicken, picking all the bits from the bones. We roast the breast on the crown in this edition and roast the leg and thigh. Debone the breast and gently finish in butter in a pan with sage and garlic and a hint of chili. The leg and thigh is turned into beautiful tortelloni.(My favourite thing to make and eat)

The whole dish is brought together with roasted cauliflower and cauliflower puree. Crispy bits of chicken skin is added with a little parmesan when served.

Please follow and like us:

No Comments

Guanciale part five – Bucatini all’Amatriciana


The ingredients

Here we go again, so many variations, so many so called original recipes each with a very viable true original stories. But on this one I am going to stick to just tomato, guanciale and pecorino …I might consider adding wine and olive oil. This sauce is supposed to be simple, with a peasant heritage originating from the town of Amatrice. The ingredients used in the sauce is a reflection of what was available in the area. In some areas it is prepared without the addition of tomato, but it is the tomato sauce that makes it special. If you cannot get bucatini (thick spaghetti with a hole running through the centre get spaghetti.

It must be noted that in some recipes garlic and onion is added, this distracts and disguises the tomato flavour. The addition of a little black pepper needs to be added while some believe it is a little chili instead that should be added.

20ml extra-virgin olive oil
150g guanciale, cut into cubes
60ml white wine
425g whole peeled tomatoes crushed,
Freshly ground black pepper
400g dried bucatini pasta
40g grated Pecorino
40g Pecorino shaved or grated for serving

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add guanciale, until lightly browned.
Add wine and cook until almost evaporated and pan deglazed
Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer leave the seeds, I like to add a little water or stock to help the sauce along.
Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, add a little extra to give a bite.
Boil pasta in salted water until just short of al dente, remove and put into sauce with about 50 ml of pasta liquid.
Continue to cook in sauce until al dente, the sauce would have thickened slightly. Remove and add cheese.

Season and serve with extra cheese.


Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Please follow and like us:

No Comments

The Count Down – Cape legends Inter Hotel Challenge





The Count Down – Cape legends Inter Hotel Challenge

Presenting – Nicholas Loubser (23)

In it’s fourth year, young chefs competing for a title and the most amazing prize, a three week visit to Prague to work with Executive Chef Roman Paulus in their Michelin star restaurant The Alcron.
With 21 hotels it is a tough, each candidate is to present and cook a three course meal showcasing everything he has learnt in order to have bragging right to this great prize, whish also includes prizes form Kitchen Aid, Rio Largo and Lancewood.
Nicholas has been working at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel for the past four years as one of our in house trainees. Recently he moved away from working on the line in the main kitchen to working with his true love – the bakery! Pretty sure we can lure him back after this competition. The big cook off will be on 14,15 June. All of the best and good luck.
This year we have been partnered with Lemond winery and Monis.

Nick is working on a beautiful sea-bass starter for main course he is working on a pork knuckle and fillet combination and for dessert passion fruit and orange.

Please follow and like us:

No Comments