Strand­loper cui­sine

Save the fish and eat ocean food in­stead. This guy will show you how

Getaway (South Africa) - - Escape -

‘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.

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