Get to know Stèfan Meintjes of Damhuis
Jenny Handley chats to chef Stèfan Meintjes of Damhuis in Melkbosstrand. She finds out the secret to his beer batter, which cookbook is his favourite as well as which chefs he’d like to meet.
1. What is your hot tip for preparing fish at home?
Never overcook seafood, that goes for all seafood. Make sure you get the freshest local produce. Signs of freshness include clear eyes and shiny red gills. For pan-frying melt butter, oil and a sprig of thyme.
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2. What is best served with fish and chips – lemon, tartar sauce or something secret?
I add vodka to my beer batter. Chopped gherkin, clarified garlic and lemon butter.
3. Who is your food hero?
Chef Trevor Boyd
4. What music pairs best with your style of cooking?
5. Besides your own book, what is your favourite go-to cookbook?
6. If you could meet one chef in the world, who would it be?
It’s a pity they all have passed, but I would like to have had a chance to meet Paul Bocuse and Anthony Bourdain. I would definitely settle for Gordon Ramsay.
7. What is the best part about living at the sea?
Let me try and point out a couple – there are too many to mention! I met my wife at Die Damhuis by the sea. I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl, Mignon, by the sea. I get to smell the ocean when I wake up and watch the sunset over the ocean. The friendly, caring and supportive locals of Melkbosstrand also make seaside living great.
8. What is your favourite dessert?
I don’t do sweet, but if I would have to mention one it would be a rum baba with Amarula, white and dark chocolate mousse with a cardamom crème anglaise. This just so happens to be the dessert I made the dessert with Chef Rudi Liebenberg.
9. Which part of the restaurant is where you are happiest?
The kitchen without a doubt.
10. What is your motto?
Consistency is the art of perfection.
How to prepare calamari tubes
Watch below as Hein Botha of Die Damhuis Restaurant shows us how to prepare calamari tubes.
You could stand the chance of winning a copy of Stèfan’s Damhuis: Recipes and Memories of a House (African Press). Just pick up a copy of our January 2020 issue to find out how to enter.
Open from 09h00 for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Tuesday-Sunday
+27 (0) 21 553 0093; +27 (0) 81 367 7011
Photography Johan Wilke