I just love when my inbox welcomes me with an invite that is impossible to resist… Last week we attended the launch of CHEFS at Harissa Bistro in The Club in Hazelwood. This gastronomical event really was something I looked forward to the entire week and it did not disappoint.
Licorish Bistro has always been on my list of places I wanted to go try and I was thrilled to see that Executive Chef, Karel Jacobs teamed up with Chef and golf extraordinaire Reino Deetlefs. Both these chefs are originally from Pretoria and thought it best to launch their exciting new project in their hometown. CHEFS is an on-site catering service, ideal for private and corporate events. As you can imagine my first thoughts were…wedding!!!!! I personally think this type of catering would be wonderful for an intimate wedding. This way you get to spoil your loved ones with exciting food and you get to dine in style on your big day, what better way to start your new life together?
We were seated in Harissa’s intimate glass-walled dining area. A wonderful space, perfect for an uninterrupted dinner with friends, family or colleagues. Since we are on a bit of a gin exploration, André and I decided to skip the wine and kick off the evening with some great Fynbos Gin from Wilderer and we’re definitely fans!
I am no food expert, but here’s my take on our meal. The menu consisted of five courses starting with SEA, seared tuna with pea puree, salted potato foam, chili jam, soy and lemon caviar served with fennel chips. I loved the glass bowls it was served in and it was the perfect take on seafood without being overly fishy.
Following that was EARTH, roasted beets, beetroot and coconut ice cream, parmesan custard and black pepper tuille with herbed yogurt served with dukkha and lemon oil. An unusual but delicious course. The roasted beetroot and its salty companions combined with the ice-cream made for a great balance of salty sweet. The designer in me just loved the colour combination!
Third up was a Gucci Martini sorbet and its smoky coolness and hints of popcorn made me a fan instantly. The only thing that I don’t like about a palette cleanser is that it is a cleanser. Usually, I would just really like to stuff my face with more (I don’t quite care for the proper way!).
Being a massive fan of pork belly, Karel and Reino’s choice for PRIME had André and me as happy as pigs in the mud…hmmm yes I did that. Pairing up pork belly with another favourite of ours, sous-vide cooking, made this dish a win in my books. This beauty was accompanied by salted caramel apple puree, a sage and parmesan crumb, crackling, mustard aioli and potato fondants.
Last but not least we were treated to something SWEET. Everything had been cleared and the chefs got ready for a chocolate table performance, something inspired by the dessert performances of Grant Achatz, chef at Alinea in Chicago. Of course, there was chocolate but there were also hints of mint, nougat, some flambéd meringue, and macarons. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen some stories where chocolate flying accompanied by various oohs and aaaahs. A real treat and a highly interactive and sociable way to end off the evening.
To book, contact Karel Jacobs and Reino Deetlefs at +2772 223 4304 or +2778 718 1065. Alternatively, you can follow them on social media (see below) and keep up with what they get up to.
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