Chef’s Harvest

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.

In addition to the vegetables I was armed with some wonderful cold smoked haddock from Ocean Jewels and free-range foraging chickens, butter, eggs and marmalade from Simply Wholesome.

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.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks


5 Responses to Chef’s Harvest

  1. Stef says:

    Thanks again Matt! What a pleasure! Great way to spend a Saturday morning….

  2. Karen says:

    This is fantastic. Any chance you’ll start supplying us ordinary folk? I’ve been looking for organic fruit & veg boxes in Cape Town (such as http://www.riverford.co.uk) and have yet to find one – hint hint :)

    • Matt says:

      Hi Karen,

      At the moment my resources are somewhat limited RE deliveries, but there are great box schemes in place from the like of The Ethical Co-Op and Harvest of Hope. I also do sell the veggies weekly at Starling’s Cafe on Belvedere Rd in Claremont every Wednesday from 4-6pm.

      Cheers

      Matt

  3. Pingback: Nomination for Eat Out's 'Best Local Food Blog' 2013, I need your vote! | curate this space

Leave a Reply