A Slow Food wor­ld-first for lo­cal e­a­tery

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voor­blad -

GRAAFF-REI­NET — Po­pu­lar Graaff­rei­net Gas­tro­pub, The Mul­ler Hou­se, has been ho­nou­red by Slow Food In­ter­na­ti­o­nal to be­co­me the first accre­di­ted “Slow Food C­hefs' Al­li­an­ce” re­stau­rant in the wor­ld.

This occur­red du­ring a re­cent vi­sit to this lo­cal e­a­tery, as part of a tour of the Ka­roo and vi­sits to lo­cal far­mers by a high po­we­red de­le­ga­ti­on from Slow Food In­ter­na­ti­o­nal, which in­clu­ded the He­ad of Slow Food I­ta­ly, Fran­ces­co Sot­ti­le and Slow Food A­fri­ca re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve E­ma­nu­e­le Dug­he­ra as well as the na­ti­o­nal chair­man of Slow Food South A­fri­ca B­ri­an Dick.

The de­le­ga­ti­on was hos­ted by the con­ve­nors of the Slow Food Ka­roo con­vi­vi­um, lo­cal foodies, Gor­don and Ro­se W­rig­ht.

S­pea­king af­ter the a­war­ding of the pres­ti­gi­ous accre­di­ta­ti­on, the he­ad of Slow Food I­ta­ly, Fran­ces­co Sot­ti­le, was glo­wing in his com­men­ta­ry of the es­ta­blishment, “The Mul­ler Hou­se is a per­fect ex­am­ple of w­hat we are stri­ving for in the Slow Food C­hefs' Al­li­an­ce glo­bal­ly. A lo­cal­ly o­w­ned es­ta­blishment that is run by a pas­si­o­na­te te­am of c­hefs who stri­ve to sup­port and s­ho­w­ca­se lo­cal pro­du­ce and pro­du­cers, whi­le at the sa­me ti­me keeping a very high stan­dard of cui­si­ne”.

Slow Food Ka­roo’s Gor­don W­rig­ht ad­ded, “We are very proud that one of our very own Ka­roo re­stau­rants has rai­sed the bar on a glo­bal sca­le to pro­ve that lo­cal is in­deed lek­ker. I look for­ward to seeing mo­re lo­cal re­stau­rants ta­king the le­ad in the sup­port of lo­cal pro­du­cers and sho­w­ca­sing our fa­bu­lous Ka­roo foods and lo­cal in­gre­dients on the glo­bal sta­ge”. A very proud La­bar­ré du P­reez with one of the con­ve­nors of the Slow Food Ka­roo con­vi­vi­um, Gor­don W­rig­ht.

Dug­he­ra ad­ded that “The Slow Food C­hefs' Al­li­an­ce is a net­work u­ni­ting c­hefs a­round the wor­ld who are com­mit­ted to de­fen­ding and ce­le­bra­ting bi­o­di­ver­si­ty, food tra­di­ti­ons, lo­cal cul­tu­res, and ar­tis­a­nal food pro­du­cers. C­hefs and cooks ha­ve a fun­da­men­tal ro­le to play in sa­fe­guar­ding the bi­o­lo­gi­cal and cul­tu­ral di­ver­si­ty of our food. They in­ter­pret the his­to­ries and e­cosys­tems of their re­gi­ons with skill and cre­a­ti­vi­ty, sup­por­ting lo­cal pro­du­cers whi­le a­wa­ke­ning e­a­ters to the ro­le we all play as cus­to­di­ans of bi­o­di­ver­si­ty”.

The Mul­ler Hou­se chef and co-o­w­ner La­bar­ré Du P­reez was de­lig­h­ted, “We are ex­tre­me­ly ex­ci­ted to be a­ble to share our pas­si­on and be af­fi­li­a­ted with Slow Food and to cre­a­te this a­wa­re­ness. Our con­cept with our menu is to con­stant­ly chan­ge - ac­cor­ding

to the se­a­so­na­li­ty of pro­du­ce, a­vai­la­bi­li­ty and w­het­her it's lo­cal. It's not on­ly to pro­vi­de the be­st pri­ce for our gue­sts but al­so u­sing se­a­so­nal pro­du­ce to in­flu­en­ce your pro­duct qua­li­ty".

She goes on to say that “Fruit and ve­ge­ta­bles are at their be­st being e­a­ten and u­sed in se­a­son. If we al­so buy at a bet­ter pri­ce we are a­ble to gi­ve our gue­sts a bet­ter pri­ce. Ha­ving a re­stau­rant in the Ka­roo is a bles­sing. The­re are so ma­ny far­mers a­round that are ex­perts in their own field. Being a­ble to buy di­rect­ly from them helps us for so ma­ny re­a­sons. We al­ways try to see the big­ger pic­tu­re, how our choi­ces e­ven­tu­al­ly u­plift and sup­port our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ty and in re­turn we get to wa­ke up e­very mor­ning doing w­hat ma­kes us hap­py”.

La­bar­ré's hus­band S­tu­art con­cur­red, "Being re­cog­ni­sed by the Slow Food C­hefs' Al­li­an­ce me­ans a re­cog­ni­ti­on of our choi­ces as well as in­ter­na­ti­o­nal re­cog­ni­ti­on, which is al­so im­por­tant, as we re­cei­ve so ma­ny tou­ris­ts du­ring the y­e­ar. They need to be ma­de a­wa­re that we choo­se to ser­ve fresh farm qua­li­ty pro­du­ce. We grow our own herbs and greens, as well as smal­ler ve­ge­ta­bles at ho­me. We e­ven ha­ve our own herb boxes at The Mul­ler Hou­se. We buy our lamb from Vic­to­ria West from Ro­am F­ree Me­ats. We try and use all the lamb cuts from de­bo­ned lamb neck to lamb pies, lamb cur­ry, ma­ri­na­ted lamb rib, shred­ded lamb in soups and the ob­vi­ous fa­vou­ri­te, lamb chops".

Chef Ca­rel Ens­lin, the thi­rd mem­ber of The Mul­ler Hou­se te­am adds, "Throug­hout the y­e­ar we are qui­te de­pen­dent on the hun­ting se­a­son for ve­nison and get sup­ply from lo­cal far­mers w­hen a­vai­la­ble. We ma­ke our own ve­nison Car­pac­cio from s­pring­bok or ku­du loin and al­so ser­ve a ku­du schnit­zel".

La­bar­ré con­clu­des, "We are three c­hefs at Mul­ler Hou­se, S­tu­art, my­self and Ca­rel. All three of us joi­ned the C­hefs' Al­li­an­ce, as we share the sa­me va­lu­es and would li­ke the a­wa­re­ness of this con­cepts to grow so that our cu­s­to­mers know w­he­re their food co­mes from”.

In the Ka­roo we ha­ve such won­der­ful di­ver­si­ty and food tra­di­ti­ons and they need to be sho­w­ca­sed, in­no­va­ted and pro­tected, our c­hefs and cooks in the re­gi­on are per­fect­ly po­si­ti­o­ned to do this - so well do­ne to The Mul­ler Hou­se and its fa­bu­lous te­am on keeping the Ka­roo food flag flying high," com­men­ted a very proud Ro­se W­rig­ht.

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