Gourmet (South Africa) - - CHEF’S PROFILE - Mar­ble, johannesburg

For any young chef in south africa right now, work­ing with renowned chef david higgs at the launch of his 250-seater restau­rant, Mar­ble, is rather a few steps up on the lad­der of chef­hood. and for Werner spohr and Kylie debbo, david’s right-hand man and lady in the kitchen, the added at­trac­tion of the new-con­cept live-fire space boast­ing a wood-fired grill im­ported from Washington adds fur­ther kitchen cred. ‘The live-fire con­cept is very ex­cit­ing,’ says Werner who has worked with david through­out his stint at Five hun­dred at saxon. ‘his­tor­i­cally, fire brings peo­ple to­gether and cre­ates at­mos­phere, which is what Mar­ble is all about. grow­ing up in an afrikaans home, braaing and spend­ing time on the farm means that fire has al­ways been part of my cook­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I love open­fire cook­ing, ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent types of wood for flavour. I be­lieve in nose-to-tail cook­ing us­ing fresh, lo­cal pro­duce.’

‘We’re go­ing back to ba­sics,’ adds Kylie, who is new to work­ing with david. ‘The food is un­com­pli­cated, us­ing only two or three care­fully se­lected in­gre­di­ents and lo­cally sourced pro­duce, cooked to per­fec­tion. We are cook­ing beau­ti­ful meat, veg­eta­bles, fish and bread, all of which taste in­cred­i­ble when cooked on fire.’ an­other novel, on-trend el­e­ment at Mar­ble is a walk-in butch­ery, in­spired by aus­tralia’s Vic­tor Churchill, which is si­t­u­ated be­low a rooftop bar with views across the Ma­galies­berg. Mar­ble


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