Good food and wine pairing tickled taste buds at the fourth Chef’s Kitchen at Tsogo Sun’s Key Largo at Hemingways Mall in East London last Saturday night.
The menu, created by executive chef Shaun Gibb, saw a four-course meal come together in a relaxed, pleasant ambience.
Durbanville Hills wines were paired with the courses.
“I started planning the menu about two months before. The first step started with making ice-cream for the dessert,” Gibb said. The GO! went to sample this fine dining affair and was blown away by the setting.
Looking like a work of art rather than food, the first course saw a strawberry salad with smoked goat’s cheese, toasted almonds, baby greens and balsamic reduction coupled with a sauvignon blanc wine.
“I was inspired by my love of the strawberry plant as a starter. I paired it with the goats cheese for a creamy effect while the nuts were for the crunch,” he said.
A beet cured salmon appetizer was next on the cards, together with pumpernickel crisps, pickles, lemon cream cheese, paired with a chardonnay.
“I enjoyed salmon and fell in love with it while working in the US. I decided to cure my own over a course of a few days and add a twist of pickles,” Gibb said.
Turning things up a notch, the entrèe consisted of tender eland sirloin served with seasonal baby vegetables, pomme croquettes and shiraz wine jus. It’s little surprise that a shiraz wine was coupled with the meal.
The peppery taste created a sensory explosion on the palette whether you had a sip of wine first then a bite of eland, or vice versa. , it was sure to leave you in wonder.
An unusual dessert of deconstructed apple crumble, home-made ice-cream and brandy snap ended off the evening
“I thought to take it apart and put it together again with brandy snap crumble. The apple was sour to counter the sweetness of the dish with a pinotage wine,” he said.
Food and beverage manager Nicholas Voice said they were planning on bringing in the unexpected for the next chef’s kitchen.
“Our two sous chefs, Terri Struckmeyer and Olwethu Kuta, worked well together last year, and will now collaborate again in May,” food and beverage manager Nicholas Voice said.
Preliminary bookings for the next instalment can be made at Key Largo on 043-707-7985.