Archives for October 2017

Restaurant Week 2017

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Beef Carpaccio with beef tendons and oxtail

Starting tomorrow, fifth year Anniversary! October 19th – November 5th 2017.
This years menu
Starters, Beef carpaccio with twist, we have added some extra beefy bits with crispy fried beef tendons and pulled oxtail fried in a pokora batter served with a spiced chick pea puree.
For the main course we are serving a poached sea bass with coal cooked potatoes and a mussel velouté, with seaweed and grilled tender stem broccoli.
and to finish we have combined a couple of interesting flavours with popcorn, miso, Tonka beans and sencha tea.
R400 per person, for more information go online at http://www.restaurantweek.co.za

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GRILLED CHEESE ON SOUR DOUGH

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese Photo Credit www.crushmag-online.com

Use any bread you like, I prefer a sour dough that I pre slice and defrost as I need for those late night cheats.

Serves 1
Ingredients
1 tablespoon soft butter(no margarine)
2 slices 2cm sliced sourdough, one to two days old
120g grated or sliced healeys mature cheddar

Method
Heat a thick bottomed pan to a medium
Completely butter sour dough bread on both sides
Place both slices sour dough in pan and gently cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
Turn over and place cheese on one, close and continue to cook until golden brown. Turn over abd cook other side until golden brown.
Cheese needs to melt.
Serve with pickles

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Sunday Roast at The Oasis, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Oasis Sunday Lunch

That time has come, summer is here and with summer the Oasis opens it’s doors again for lunch.
The highlight being Sunday lunch. The idea is take a long stroll through the gardens at the hotel and relax to a long lazy lunch. The choices are endless with the selection starting with a big selection of salads ranging from caprese to couscous with favourites like potato salad and roasted butternut, then the selection makes a turn with a variety of meze and antipasto items to choose from, some stay right here enjoying a garlic brushed bruschetta topped with lemon and herb marinated peppers and tapenade. Across the cold buffet carpaccio, lachsschinken and beef tongue with slaphakskeentjies will be spotted.
Then hiding behind the home made pickles, saucisson sec and local salami.

When all courage is gathered a return is made to the cold fish station, with oysters, smoked trout, poached prawns or seared tuna. If this all seems to intimidating just create your own salad at the Caesar bowl, gado gado station or a selection of fresh vegetables and nuts to ensure you have enough to be creative.

But leave some space because chef Michael Maliti has made oxtail, and chicken curry with the beef and lamb carvery with tons of sides to pick from.(Do not forget the Yorkshire pudding)
As you get up to get a second helping of oxtail, you might notice that you have missed the onion and goats cheese tart and the bacon quiche on the bread section. Fortunately you notice the cheese board first and tuck in to the selection of South African Cheese with a piece of membrillo and nut and seed loaf.

Walking across to the table the smell of fresh waffles hits you and you cannot decide when you return to have the crème brulee, chocolate tart or waffle with home-made choc chip ice cream

Alvin Dyers Cape Jazz Duo will be in the back ground, playing easy-listening South African jazz classics while the last sip of coffee is enjoyed.

For further information or to make a booking please phone (021) 483-1000 and ask for restaurant reservations or e-mail: restaurantreservations.mnh@belmond.com

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Roasted Vegetable Tart

Vegetable Tart Neville Lockhart Photography

Vegetable Tart
Neville Lockhart Photography

Roasted Vegetable tart
This is a great summers day dish, served cold with a rocket salad and some prosciutto. I did this recipe the first time for Food & Home a couple of years ago, it features on the Oasis buffet as a firm favourite.
Yield: 1 large tart 28-30 cm diameter

INGREDIENTS
I like making my own slow roasted tomatoes, if you are on the lazy side use some sundried tomatoes
650g plum tomatoes cut in half (dried will be 220g – 280g)
1 crushed garlic clove
10ml olive oil
Pinch black pepper
Maldon salt to taste
1 tsp Thyme picked
40ml olive oil
3 baby marrows
2 medium brinjals
2 red peppers
1 red onion
15g parmesan
15g pine nuts

7 garlic cloves roasted (more if needed)
40g pitted olives
80g cream cheese
40g parmesan
1 tbsp chopped parsley

350-400g Short crust pastry

METHOD
Season tomatoes with salt and pepper, add olive oil and thyme. Place in roasting tray with garlic bake at 70 C for 3-5 hours. This can be done the day before
Rub red peppers with a little oil and char grill until black, place in a plastic bag to sweat and leave before peeling.
Roast onion in oven at 180 C for 1 hour with garlic placed in foil and a touch of seasoning and oil. Re move skin, cut into 8 and put one side until needed.
Allow the garlic to cool slightly, cut across the whole bulb and squeeze out the soft sweet flesh. Set on side.
Wash trim baby marrows and slice into 5 mm slices.
Wash and trim brinjals slice into 5 mm slices.
Cook until golden remove and set one side.
Clean peppers remove skin and seeds, season cut into 3-4 cm pieces
For the base, mix garlic pulp, chopped parsley, cream cheese, Parmesan and ½ roasted chopped onion with pitted olives. Adjust seasoning.
Pre heat Oven
Line greased tart mould with rolled out pastry 3mm thick. Allow the pastry to hang over the sides.
Prick the base and blind bake at 200 C for 10-15 min
Remove and allow to cool slightly Trim excess pastry
Fill base with the cream cheese mixture
With alternating layers start on the outside overlapping tomato then brinjal, then pepper, baby marrow, onion start again with tomato repeat process until the whole tart is filled.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and pine nuts

Bake for 10-15 minutes at 180 C until golden brown

Cool serve

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Memories of Chefs Who Share

My three favourite Sommeliers

My three favourite Sommeliers

 

With each Facebook connection, a notifications pops up, an anniversary, a reminder of events one year ago, it was to be the last. At the time we did not know, but a year later a sad reality.

2016 was the first year I would not and could not cook, with an Achilles injury caused by one to many silly jumps to the left. This gave me an unique opportunity to observe the whole commotion as an outsider, which in itself is a very hard thing to observe as a chef with limited movement, for me it was like watching the heart beat during open heart surgery being performed by a team of masters.

When you work as a chef on a project as big as chefs who share, you want to give everything, you want to leave that final personality that final piece of yourself on the plate. This is not a small function, on this night each set of chefs might be cooking for 36 people, with seven different menu’s born from the creativity from fourteen very gifted chefs, it is intimidating as boundaries are stretched and rules broken…. One step beyond…as I watched the chaos as I was perched on my bar stool I was slightly over come with a sense of jealousy but also one of pride. Chefs come together in place unfamiliar and share their time, share art and leave visions of emotions on a plate for something bigger than themselves. It is unconditional.

The art of giving was born from a conversation in 2013 while at a diner prize giving with a room full of chefs and press, I was fortunate enough to be seated next to my old friend Bertus and on the other side was Barbara Lennard. As we were catching up and sharing stories about giving and sharing, the discussion on the night went around the possibility of doing an event that was big, the rest is history. The seed was planted and we needed water, lots of it.

Over a four year period we saw how the event got bigger, the first three years in Cape Town and last year Johannesburg. Always in the heart of the city, making City Hall look glamorous as it should.

Every year new chefs joined, for some it was a reunion, for some a new experience and in some way a little intimidating. We are extremely blessed in South Africa, having such talented people, talented chefs, wine makers and sommeliers.

The process with creativity is vicious, with each chef removed from their kitchens and placed in an environment of basic functionality changes chef changes the animal. Each chef is given the opportunity of the basic operating equipment to make the event work. If you know this animal the boundaries and limitations will be broken. They want to give more than just a plate a food, it is a show an experience. So bugger the basic, they will cart everything including the kitchen sink across country to show what true hospitality is all about.

As the afternoon progressed plates, bowls and glasses of different sizes get unpacked. This is a show after all. With this Paco jets, thermos mixes, smoking guns and sous vide baths all in the name of sharing.  Silly bunch if you think about it, I thought so. But not really, if you consider that when ones writes seven menus the personality of 28 dishes must be given life for all to see and enjoy, part of this creative process goes far beyond just giving parameters of what plate that must be used. The thought process of a chef does not live in a box. Food is experienced because we love the taste, smell, sound and most of all the thought process behind the creativity bringing all the elements together that makes sharing food memories.

As the night started and guests started filling the magnificent hall, we were informed that proceedings were running late!  It was a mean itinerary. We had to catch 20 minutes of lateness. This night is jam packed and co-ordination of chefs, sommeliers and artists is essential to a good nights entertainment.

As I hobbled from kitchen to kitchen and station to station, one cannot avoid to notice the skill and time each chef gave and display on their plates, nothing is half baked. Each starter is so different with personality shining on every plate. As we wait for our call, random guests and fans come into the kitchen for quick photo and chat with their favourite chefs. The level of anxiety is high  as each set of eyes stare back at me, waiting……

The aboyer(that would be me) barks for a pickup of starters …..15minutes, seven brigades shift in to gear and the noise levels increase, finishing touches engaged and the focus immediate. You never notice this when you are cooking next to Bertus, Gregory, Chantel, Margot, Chris or George, as we all busy at that moment. And when the last starter leaves we would continue bantering again, just as we did before and just as we would in our own kitchens.

The waiters start lining up dressed in purple aprons while each sommelier starts pouring one of 28 wines for the evening. It is just people everywhere as food leave the kitchen, guided by a chef, table by table as descriptions are given at each table of each dish. It is chaotic, but also organised at the same moment.

When all of this happens you realise the moment and the sense of the occasion. As all of us joined in a common goal in giving at that exact moment we chose to be there to be part of a great event.

As the night draws to a close the true magnitude of what each chef has contributed is realised, as they clean and pack away. Some enjoy a glass of wine and we say our farewells till next time.

It is hard to understand why we keep on coming back, because it is hard, it is not glamourous cleaning up after twelve at night, and tomorrow we are back at our respective jobs and life caries a on. As chefs in South Africa we are very privileged working with beautiful food. Everyday we get to experience smells and tastes and sharing our experiences with others is in small part what keeps us going.

It hard to choose a favourite dish or a favourite chef. But standing outside the circle gives a different perspective to all the madness.

Thank you to all the chefs who contributed and gave up their time, thank you to all the sommeliers for sharing their knowledge, all the wine makers giving, sharing wines  and the artist who donated beautiful pieces. Thank you to the sponsors who gave generously to make it possible. Lastly thank you to the guests for supporting the art in giving and sharing. It will be missed.

 

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