Adventures of ‘Chef Rev’

2016-05-25 06:00
Chef Rev turns photographer in Zanzibar. Photo: supplied

Chef Rev turns photographer in Zanzibar. Photo: supplied

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A TYPICAL Durban winter’s day, sunshine and everything “unwinter” you can imagine. Life is too short not to eat real butter I tell myself as I sip-eat my chocolate brownie cake-tini - a chocolate brownie served in a martini glass covered in chocolate ganache with ice cream, and pen my first lifestyle piece in the sun.

My name is Chef Rev and I’m the new kid on the block. I am a qualified chef and the co-owner of a self-proclaimed uber trendy restaurant in Durban, Pop-up Society. I will also be your personal chef.
I started writing because I love cooking, if that makes any sense. When I read recipe books and magazines I often ask myself, how on earth will the mom of two children implement these futuristic recipes in her limited kitchen after working a full day?

My goal is simple - to add spice inspirations to your life. I’m simple. To the point. No futuristic garnish. Just inspiration. Food is exciting, playful and fun for the family. I’m not a writer, I am a chef. An artisan of yummy. Excuse the writing, excuse the butter, devour the adventure.

Straight to business, butter and adventure. Welcome to Zanzibar, as is the island on the east coast of Africa - white sand, warm beaches, 50 shades of blue, spice island blah, blah, blah. But as far as I go, food was nothing to write home about.

I had two main reasons for visiting this beautiful spice island - one, to usher my sisters 40th and then to sample this centuries-old spice island so I could bring back ideas, recipes and kilograms of spices for my restaurant.

I was mistaken. Now maybe it was a thriving spice route, East-meets-West-in -Africa 2 000 years ago, but as I stand today, as a Durbanite, our spices and flavour combinations outweigh this spice island by a mile. This made me realise how lucky we were as a KZN foodie generation.

My Zanzibar-Durban experience allowed me to create something wonderful. It’s called “the 30-minute East Coast Seafood Potjie” - a perfect meal for a weekend braai or just as by itself.

Here’s what you will need to create this food adventure;

30-minute East Coast seafood potjie

• Butter (of course), butter and more butter

• 250ml fresh cream or buttermilk (sour cream works well too)

• 1 tablespoon crushed ginger and garlic (the paste tube thingy will work well too)

• 1 finely chopped white onion

• 1 hand-full fresh coriander

• 1 clove (Zanzibar’s main spice export, so I’ve been told by the locals)

• A few drops of lemon juice

• 250ml white wine, plus 1 for drinking while you make it

• 1kg prawns (cleaned)

• 1kg mussels (the ones with the shells work best – keep the children busy by getting them to scrub the shells)

• 2 fish fillets (hake is the easiest)

• 200g calamari rings or tubes

• Salt and pepper


Dust off your old solid cast iron potjie pot and gooi on a hot braai. Heat butter. Add chopped onion and cook until transparent. Add crushed ginger and garlic. Add cream and wine. Add clove, half coriander and mussels. Let the heat release all the flavours. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add calamari and prawns. Cook for a further five minutes. Stir in chunky hake fillets. The sauce should thicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the rest of the coriander and voilà - done. Best served with potato bake or just good old-fashioned store-bought garlic bread.

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