Spectacular views of Table Mountain, a laid-back atmosphere and wholesome cuisine – this is what can be expected at Ginja Restaurant, located at the famous Victoria & Alfred Hotel in Cape Town. A selection of wonderful dishes, as described in our previous blog, can be enjoyed in this stunning setting together with family, friends or business associates. It’s the perfect spot for sundowners, date night, special occasions or a relaxed meal.
Providing us with an idea of what it’s like on the other side of the kitchen doors, Executive Chef – Judi Fourie – shares her insight, exciting information on what you can look forward to at Ginja in the near future, as well as one of her recommended seasonal recipes.
Chef Judi has an impressive brigade of 27 chefs, including trainees, who assist her on a daily basis but there certainly aren’t too many cooks in this kitchen as each dish that they produce is outstanding. To create these brilliant menu items, the team uses fresh farm ingredients and sustainably sourced foods.
“We source our fresh ingredients from a farm in Phillipi, which is Farming for the Future accredited. The farm is also Global G.A.P. certified, which means it is a sustainable farm – it’s kind to the environment and to the people working on it,” says Chef Judi. “We, in the Ginja kitchen, similarly place much value on conserving nature and as such, all our food items are sourced from reputable suppliers, with whom we meet bi-annually. We further only use compostable packaging and use free-range meats and farmed seafood whenever possible. I often visit the fish market in Hout Bay for speciality ingredients. Further, we are in the process of sprucing up the herb garden on the hotel’s third floor, where we will grow herbs and speciality vegetables for Ginja’s new menu.”
On that note, we are pleased to share that you will soon be able to enjoy a variety of new offerings at the restaurant. Chef Judi tells us more: “We are in the process of creating a new, all-day menu as well as brainstorming some events which will take place in upcoming months. In addition to this, we are currently planning the Easter Rustic Buffet and are happy to share that we have something special on the cards for Valentine’s Day, which is now just around the corner.”
As per Chef Judi, you and your partner can look forward to an abundant seafood platter, including two glasses of Waterkloof wine, live music by the Bret Krus Band and – of course – beautiful sunset views of the harbour and Table Mountain on 14 February 2018. Keep an eye on our website for further details. “It is going to be a very romantic and indulgent experience.”
In order to create culinary masterpieces one after the other, Chef Judi draws inspiration from raw ingredients and keeps tabs on international food trends. “I enjoy creating dishes that are simple and healthy but still have big, bold flavours,” she says. “I usually trial new dishes with my team and then place these creations on our black boards as specials. One of the products that I recently discovered and am very fond of is plate-sized farmed sea bass. I love fresh sea bass and therefore, the fact that we can use the whole fish on the plate without wastage allows us to respect the product in its entirety. It’s also great as it suits our rustic style.”
All this talk about food is quite likely increasing your appetite, so it is at this point that we wish to share the menu that Chef Judi has generously provided. Go on, give it a try! And, if you’re feeling extra creative, take a photo of the dish, post it on Instagram and tag @ginjarestaurant and @newmarkhotels – we’d love to see your very own culinary handiwork.
Strawberry Caciotta Salad
Chef’s Note: Caciotta cheese is made in small batches for Ginja by a farm in Darling, called Udderly Delicious. The traditional method, which involves the inclusion of animal rennet, is used to produce this cheese. Its briny taste complements the sweetness of strawberries excellently.
To make the salad, rip the Caciotta roughly and quarter four large strawberries. Toss these ingredients together with some wild rocket, sweet basil and mint. Top with toasted, flaked almonds.
To make the dressing, mix together one tablespoon of organic maple syrup, one tablespoon of red wine vinegar and two tablespoons of cold-pressed local extra virgin olive oil. Add some cracked pepper and sea salt.
Sprinkle the dressing over the salad, serve and enjoy!
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