Save the fish and eat ocean food instead. This guy will show you how
‘Firstly, never turn your back on the ocean, and only catch what you are going to eat that day.’ These were the ground rules John Grundlingh’s dad, a spear fisherman, taught him as a child growing up in Jeffreys Bay. ‘My brother and I always went down to the beach with him. He’d gave us fresh oysters off the rocks, white and black mussels. We had to taste everything raw to really appreciate its taste.’ Growing up eating seafood in different ways inspired John’s latest venture, where he takes people foraging along the shore and then shows them how to prepare a meal from it. ‘There is a whole new world of cooking out there in the ocean. We just have to look after it,’ says John, a WWF-Sassi ambassador and anti-plastic campaigner. ‘I’d like to teach people how to eat mussels, limpets, sea snails, sea urchins and many other things to take pressure off the ocean ecosystem.’ John forages in the nearby veld too. ‘I love using samphire, soutslaai and wild spinach in my dishes, but there are so many other delicious things to pick and taste.’ He says the best time to go poking about in rock pools and gullies is at new or full moon. And the rule for knowing whether you can eat seaweed raw is if you can break a piece off easily with your fingers. John was the winner of Ultimate Braai Master in 2015, as part of Team Weskus Annas, and went on to represent South Africa at the World Food Championships in 2016. His pop-up restaurant, launching this month in Grotto Bay (near Darling), is called The Braai Master’s Kitchen. Visits start with a foraging outing in the morning, followed by a cooking demo and five-course meal including the fish catch of the day. It costs R350 pp, 072-292-5991.