For the September issue of House & Garden magazine, I got to interview Heston Blumenthal – a true gastronomic legend and international celebrity chef. How did I get so lucky?
Well, he happens to be heading to the Good Food & Wine Show Joburg on (Sorry fellow Cape Townians!!)... but he does have a lot of good things to say about Cape Town... and who knows, he may pop in for a visit again soon...
Here is the interview:
What keeps bringing you back to
South Africa? It’s simply one of
the most beautiful countries in the
world — I get withdrawal symptoms.
What’s your take on South African cuisine?
South Africa is gifted with an incredible wealth
of produce, such as great meat and wonderful
seafood. Its rich multicultural influence, from
Portuguese to Cape Malay, also intrigues me.
More traditional offerings are of the carnivore’s
delight on the braai, like boerewors.
What foodie discoveries did you make during
your last trip to South Africa? When I was
at the Cape Town Good Food & Wine Show
last year, I visited some incredible restaurants
in the winelands. These passionate chefs
are working with small local producers,
encouraging them to grow different varieties
of fruit and vegetables, as well as rear organic
or free-range meat and poultry.
Where in Joburg will we find you when you’re
not at the Good Food & Wine Show? In every
restaurant I can physically visit! Also, if time
allows, I would like to visit a game reserve.
What’s your most memorable restaurant
experience in South Africa? There are too many
to pin-point just one — eating crayfish on the
beach at Fish Hoek, an extravagant four-hour
tasting menu, enjoying a glass of wine and a snack
on top of Table Mountain while watching the
incredible African sunset, having a braai in the
dunes at Bloubergstrand ... When I visit the Cape
I also love to go to Camps Bay for a big plate of
seafood and watch the waves crash between the
palm trees — it was my late father’s favourite
thing to do, so it’s a special moment.
Which South African ingredients do you find
stimulating and have you incorporated them in
any of your own dishes? Rooibos tea — which
I drink in the UK when I can — and also curing
fish, which I use in our The Sound of the Sea
dish, which is made up of sand, seafood and
the ocean waves, which you listen to through
an iPod in a shell. Oh, and I do find it hard to
resist a brown paper bag with great biltong.
Have you ever attempted to recreate a
typical South African dish? I hadn’t thought
about it, but there’s no reason why it could
not go on the radar as a future target. I love
Bobotie. It reminds me of Cape Town, the
same way guava does — the first time I ate
guava was in Cape Town.
What do you have in store for the Good
Food and Wine Show? I will take audiences on
a journey as I create my iconic dishes such as
The Sound of the Sea with edible sand, logicdefying
Hot and Iced Tea, my famous Snail
Porridge and my epic Mock Turtle Soup.
Here are the deets:
Visit the Good Food & Wine Show at the Coca-Cola Dome from 21 to 24 September and book a VIP package with Heston Blumenthal. Good Food & Wine Show, www.goodfoodandwineshow.co.za