This month we’re dining with chef Daniel de Villiers of De Volkskombuis.
Jenny Handley sits down with Daniel to chat about preparing for food allergies, compliments and the best breakfast.
1. Which is your favourite season, and the ingredients that appear in it?
I am a huge fan of winter, to be able to use ingredients such as oxtail for a nice winter dish, rhubarb to make a warm winter salad or a baked dessert.
2. How do you begin to plan your menu for each season?
I start by looking at what is in season, then I pick my proteins according to sustainability and price, and then design a dish around that.
3. How do you cater for food intolerances and allergies?
For the most part, I try and design the menu in such a way that there are options available for each requirement. Sometimes we do get allergies and I adjust my dishes accordingly and ensure that there is no cross-contamination especially when it’s a serious allergy.
4. What is the best compliment ever given to you?
Best compliment given is when a customer comes to me personally and raves about how great one of my dishes was and that it was unique and out of this world.
5. Wine is an integral part of your restaurant – what is your first choice?
My personal favourite will be either the Rust en Vrede or the Terra del Capo Sangiovese. But if I really want to spoil myself my favourite to date is the Rust en Vrede 1694. As long as it’s a good red wine I’m happy.
6. Favourite kitchen equipment?
My favourite piece of equipment I have at the moment is my sous vide, it is so versatile, and I just love the results I am getting from it.
7. Best breakfast?
At home will be a nice warm bowl of mielie pap, but if we go out for breakfast nothing beats basic bacon and sunny-side-up fried eggs with a pork sausage on the side.
8. What are some of your helpful tips when sourcing ingredients?
Look for quality, colour and freshness, if it looks wilted or damaged it is not worth taking.
9. What is always in your fridge at home?
Mrs Balls Chutney, garlic and ultra-creamy Nola mayonnaise.
10. What would be your chosen last meal?
Slow-roasted duck with sweet potato and fresh vegetables with some kind of citrus sauce.
Tips on how to prepare cured trout
Open Monday to Saturday between 11:30 am and 3 pm, and from 6 pm until 10:30 pm; open Sunday from 11:30 am to 4 pm.
Words Jenny Handley
Photography Johan Wilke