KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL: Chris Erasmas
Chris Erasmas of Piermeef a la Motte restaurant
What is it like in your restaurant kitchen?
Our kitchen is always buzzing and busy. We cater for our restaurant and farm shop and bake for several guesthouses and restaurants. I have a very young team so the energy is visible and creative.
What are your favourite ingredients?
In the summer I like fresh chilli and salami. I love these because I love beer and they marry so well.
Your most useful kitchen gadget ?
My long, thin kitchen tweezers. It is the ultimate multitask tool.
Who or what inspired your love of cooking?
My mother in the Karoo and all the amazing chefs I've worked for.
What are the 'go-to' dishes you make for your friends and family?
Lamb butter curry and traditional Chinese food. I love eastern cooking as much as a local lamb roast with baby potatoes, pumpkin tart and slow-roasted sweet potatoes.
What's the most popular dish at Pierneef a la Motte restaurant?
Our Cape bokkom salad and the Kingsbread soup, a very old recipe made with lamb shin, bone marrow and smoked pork hock.
Is your approach to cooking for your family different from your mother's when you were growing up?
Not too much in winter, but in the summer we eat more sushi, salads and charcuterie.
What would you never order in a restaurant?
Anything that comes from a tin. We ate in a restaurant once and my wife asked how big the asparagus salad was. The waitress replied, "As many as there are in the tin." Scary stuff.
Is there any food you will not eat?
Tinned white asparagus and any fish on the Sassi red list.
Your favourite dessert?
Bitter chocolate tart with beer ice cream - it's awesome.
What tricks do you use to maintain healthy eating habits while travelling?
I pack in lots of peanuts and raisins, dried fruit and water. With fast-food I stick to sushi.
What do you foresee as the next big culinary trend both locally and internationally?
Local, local, local. Support the small, passionate green suppliers. Regional cooking.
What would you order for your last meal?
(Laughs) Pizza and beer.