Archives for July 2016

The Chef’s Table

CT

Chefs table

We have been working for some time now developing our own little personality. Now this would not be possible if we did not have a great team in the scene, we have become more established. Dishes have developed that are a very part of our soul. These dishes are important as it is very much what we enjoy eating and sharing.

I cannot remember when last I saw a group of young chefs so inspired, creative and proud. As we progressed through the year we have established some dishes that keep on returning, some the same, some rearranged and reincarnated as something new or polished. It is not uncommon to find menu items true to our own heritage from curry to springbok, konfyt to samp and beans.

Nothing has really changed in the last year except the confidence with witch each young chef approaches the table. The pride they show. Dion has converted the team into a great tour de force.

One of these dishes that is a true reflection of our kitchen and our process, is a beautiful compilation of things we enjoy, not only from a visual point of view but rather from a process. The beauty is in the beef from Angus, a true friend from the start. With smoked marrow, homemade shiraz drenched bresaola and crispy fried biltong dusted beef tendons served with most luxurious beef oxtail croquettes. With some crispy bits of onion and celeriac puree.

It does taste like more, it is not anything new. But when you sit inside the kitchen and you look up at the big red wall with all the quotes and you read “a carrot is not just a carrot” We are reminded that the ingredient is the master.

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Aglio e Olio

pasta9

Aglio e Olio

Serves: 4 – 6 people

Difficulty: easy
Preparation time: Quick
Cooking time: Quick
This is the simplest of pasta dishes and, if you like garlic, it makes it even better. As simple Aglio e Olio is, it is also easy to make a mess of it, the most important thing is the spaghetti – use only the best, pay a little more, it is worth it. This recipe I did for crush online a couple of years ago and we used a home- made linguini. For the best results, use only the best olive oil and fresh garlic.
Cheese is not a requirement and is best if kept simple. As I am not a fan of take ways, this makes up for those really lazy Sundays, Fridays and Saturdays. Some purist believe that the garlic is removed, strained from the oil before the pasta is cooked. If you are not going burn the garlic, it would not matter too much.

Ingredients

500 g fresh home-made linguini
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or crushed
1/2 C (125 ml) olive oil
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (I prefer using red pepper flakes)
salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 C (60 ml) chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 C (250 ml) finely grated Parmesan cheese

Method

Bring a large saucepan filled with salted water to the boil. Add the linguini and cook until al dente. Drain quickly and place in bowl (if some of the cooking liquid is retained, this will help to ensure that the dish remains moist.)

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a sauté pan. Add the the garlic and cook slowly until the garlic starts to change colour, if it burns strain it off. Remove from heat and add the chilli (or red pepper flakes), salt and black pepper.

Add the parsley, pasta and cooking liquid.
Sprinkle with Parmesan over the pasta before serving.

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