On the menu: Octopus, fennel and sea spinach
The octopus was phenomenal. Would you mind telling us how the dish came together, with the fennel and sea spinach?
Chef Giles Edwards: As with most of the dishes, it’s really about the supplier. Our chicken hearts come from Angus at Spier – they’re amazing, so I think about how I can make them appealing to everyone else. I put a deep-fried potato bake on the plate, and it just works perfectly with the dish, and it becomes an attraction – it’s the same with the octopus. I always cook it the same way; it just comes down to what I pair it with and how I use it. The octopus comes from South Coast Fisheries, who source it from False Bay. It’s Atlantic octopus, and there are not many restaurateurs buying it. Continue reading “Story of a Plate: Octopus at La Tête”
From our June 2017 newsletter:
Some of the biggest news on the international food scene last week was the announcement that Amazon would be acquiring the US-based grocery Whole Foods Market for a cool $13.7 billion. (Whole Foods calls itself “America’s Healthiest Grocery”, and as its name suggests, the focus is on organic, sustainable products.)
With Whole Food Markets currently only located in the US, Canada and the UK, it’s a deal which won’t have any immediate impact on our local food scene (no drone delivered organic kale quite yet!), but there is speculation that it could have far-reaching consequences for the global food industry.
Continue reading “Amazon, Whole Foods, and the future of food”
On the menu: Part of “Strandveld snacks” at the beginning of lunch
We were intrigued by all your dishes, but especially the bread with bokkom butter, which was like a bagna cauda, but West Coast style. Can you tell us about how that came about?
Kobus van der Merwe: At Oep ve Koep (our previous space which is still run by my family), we used to serve a fried bokkom* fillet in different versions – there was a breakfast-y one with egg, and we did a seared watermelon with bokkom and seaweed. And then everyone in the kitchen always grabbed and dipped their bread in the pan that we fried the bokkom in, because the juices were just ridiculous. We fried them in a little oil, and then we added butter while the bokkoms were heating up, and then, almost as a joke, because it’s the nicest feeling to clean a pan with bread in the kitchen, we started thinking of sending that to the table, and then just refining it a little bit.
Continue reading “Story of a Plate: Bread and bokkom butter at Wolfgat”
By Darrel Bristow-Bovey.
For me, manhood meant a place at a table in a restaurant.
When I was very young in Durban my father had a ritual. Once a month on a Monday he would put on a clean white shirt and a tie and a sports jacket and leave the house alone. This was a strange turn of events, because ordinarily my father would never wear a tie or a jacket, and also this was Durban in the 1970s – the only people who wore ties and jackets were waiters and jewel thieves.
He would come home later in the evening, and I would hear his car pull up in the driveway and hear him open the front door and walk through the house, and I can’t remember if I ever asked him where he went in his clean white shirt and his tie and sports jacket, but I know it felt like a tremendous secret, something strange and terrible and not quite fit for the eyes of moms and small kids.
Continue reading “Table Manners: Suiting up for Manhood”
On the menu: Chinese 5 spice-hoisin Pork Belly w/sweet potato purée, Chinese cabbage & crackling
There seems to always be pork belly on the Black Sheep menu, suggesting it’s one of those dishes diners would start complaining about not being available if you ever took it off. How did it become one of your “signature” dishes, and what’s the story of this particular iteration?
Chef Jonathan Japha: When you’re cooking for a restaurant of this volume, you’ve got to have some food that’s pre-done, and organised, and fully cooked, and there’s no reason why you can’t make things that are suited specifically to that purpose. Pork belly is one of those meats that really works better when you cook it very slowly for a long period of time, and because it’s already cooked, it’s perfect to have sitting in a bain marie. We keep it in the oven, with the glaze on top, with water on the bottom of the pan, so that it actually continues to cook as service progresses, and it just gets better and better as it sits.
Continue reading “Story of a Plate: Pork Belly at Black Sheep Restaurant”