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

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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

Pic­ture: SAMARIE SMITH

Spring­bok shanks with kohlrabi and Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes are served with mash and De Gren­del Shi­raz.

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