As you may have gathered my vocation revolves around food production by way of urban farming.
Currently I manage, service and farm over an acre of arable land across Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs, using front and backyards to grow up food for owners, restaurants and markets.
The arrangements I have with each ‘landlord’ is different, varied and tailored to their needs, but one of the greatest gifts is being able to use a few of the farms to grow up heirloom vegetable varieties for eateries and expanding chefs palates with unique, fresh ingredients.
As I’m quickly moving towards my winter planting season I decided to invite a few local chefs who support me by buying weekly produce to come and share the last of the summer harvest, picking ingredients and then cooking them up together.
On Saturday morning at 9am we met at our Constantia based 400m2 ‘farm’. Coffees in hand we got stuck into picking and harvesting, while guiding them through the various beds.
Present were Trish Kratz from Starlings Cafe, Sonja Edridge from The Larder and Vanessa Marx from Dear Me. Sadly Stefan Marais and Kyle Knight of Societi Brassiere and Societi Bistro were preparing their Brassiere kitchen for us, but joined us post harvest.
Armed with buckets of freshly picked produce we headed off to the brassiere to enjoy a leisurely brunch.
Each chef picked his/her own ingredients and got stuck into preparing their dishes, inspired by the produce on hand.
I even got stuck in with a ‘rustic’ kedgeree, much to the laughter of Societi chef Garth Morton, who while admiring my egg boiling skills gently alerting me to the fact they have an industrial boiler, something this kitchen cook/farmer has NO experience with!
Cumulatively we must have prepared and plated up 15+ dishes before sitting down to tuck into the feast.
Over brunch we spent time discussing ingredients, politics and recipes, while admiring the produce and dishes. At some point we raised the possibility of doing a monthly or quarterly event like this that the public would have access to, a kind of pop-up, what do you think?
It was the first of what I hope will become a regular gathering of like minded chefs, farmers and producers as we continue to foster a sense of culinary community here in Cape Town.
To keep up to date with the comings and goings and to see more pictures visit our new Facebook page.