Unlocking new ways to enjoy food
From farm to fork and from vineyard to glass, Michelle Swart finds out what’s happening at De Grendel
ern edge. Even vegetables from the gardens, such as kohlrabi and Jerusalem artichokes, find their way to the diners’ tables.
Bringing his love for local produce to the kitchen is Ian Bergh, poster-boy for the hunter-gatherer chefs who love nothing more than sourcing produce “preferably still with the morning dew on it as a sign of its freshness”.
Bergh, who has worked at La Colombe, Five Flies, Pure at Hout Bay Manor and Kurland, knows his way around the Cape culinary scene. With the Atlantic close by it comes as no surprise that some of his favourite ingredients include the often overlooked angelfish, mullet and gurnard.
A glass-walled kitchen with its wrap-around views allows diners to watch the kitchen brigade at work: free-range chicken with ravioli in a gorgonzola chardonnay sauce; pork belly with apple and sage or beef onglet with pink peppercorns and potato. Or line fish and prawns, spiced with tika masala to be served with De Grendel Winifred 2010, and perhaps Chocolate Torte and ice cream made with De Grendel Merlot to round off the meal.
“It also gives us great satisfaction to prepare dishes such as guinea-fowl burgers and see how adventurous Cape diners actually are,” says Bergh.
With vegetables being the stepchildren of the culinary world, Bergh welcomes the swing to farm produce. Fresh and seasonal is no longer a trend, but a given, reckons Bergh. “It’s encouraging to see how diners, who fell out of love with vegetables in their childhood, now rediscover it.”
And diners lap it up. Bergh prepares slow-roasted Springbok shank with caramelized turnips and roasted kohlrabi. “We serve it with roasted Jerusalem artichokes. It is actually more like potatoes than artichokes and prized for their pleasant, sweet mushroom-like flavours. The old faithful mash potato is also on the plate, soaking up the rich Shiraz sauce made from the meat’s cooking juices.” Contact: De Grendel Restaurant, Plattekloof 021 558 7035
Springbok shanks with kohlrabi and Jerusalem artichokes are served with mash and De Grendel Shiraz.