FOOD: Tangy, not chewy

2010-05-01 10:28

I n the old days it was

­Colgate and Omo, these days it’s Tastic and ­Blackberry. Just as these brands

whose names have become generic names for products, Peppadew is known in South

Africa as that chilli-red, sweet pepper found in a jar with a red lid.

In fact, they are called

­piquanté peppers – and the brand has just introduced a tasty addition to their

family of preserved veggies. The extremely versatile sun-dried raisin-tomatoes

are whole and round as well as small and sweet.

Nicky Gibbs, the executive

chef at the Westcliff hotel in ­Johannesburg, says she and her team of junior

chefs enjoyed ­experimenting with the tomato so much that they lost track of

time. “Someone waited an hour and 20 minutes for a burger they had ordered. We

were having so much fun with the raisin tomato that we forgot everything


Too bad for that customer,

but lucky for us who got to taste the creative efforts of Gibbs and her team

during a recent afternoon at the famous pink hotel. The spread of 10 dishes

included BLT bruchettas; grilled haloumi with baby spinach and minted yoghurt;

caramelised onion with spinach and goats cheese tart (not a favourite); salmon,

red onion and Camembert frittatas (bit heavy on the eggs) and quesadilla with

cheddar and a guacamole dip. The sun-dried raisin tomato ice cream created by

junior chef Sacha Kingston was such an unexpected delight, a collective sigh of

relief went up across the room.

In the spirit of sharing,

we ­decided to part with some of the recipes from Gibbs’s buffet table of

culinary wonders.

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