Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Ah February, the second month of the year ... the month to celebrate love ... the shortest month of the year ... the month when the East Celebrates their New Year ... for me February 2015 is definitely the highlight of my cooking year.
For the first time since being a chef, I created my own five course menu, with pallet cleansers between each course while complimenting each finished dish. Being able to cook this menu, single handed for 26 patrons was a dream come true and a proud accomplishment.

Initially I wanted to do the same as always, make an a la carte menu, but after a brainstorming session around good food and wine with loyal friends Wilma and +Len Nowers, they helped me realize that Valentine's day should not be of choices.  People want to be taken on a gastronomic adventure of good flavors, good wine,fantastic atmosphere and good service...and at Au'de Hex Boutique Hotel and Restaurant we have all those boxes ticked:-)

My week started off with intense planning, ordering and prepping.
Excitement was in the air.
My best South African/Taiwan friend, +Charl Toua  popped round for a braai on the Thursday evening and although the evening got away from me...I was back in the kitchen early Friday morning working hard to get everything ready for Valentine's Day.

I had an early start on Saturday morning and appreciated the beautiful surroundings with a spectacular sunrise.

Sunrise at Au'de Hex

The Hotel was fully booked with couples taking time out to visit our beautiful town and enjoying a romantic weekend break.
It was a busy morning in the kitchen, all 20 hotel guests had to be fed for breakfast and the small matter of 30 patrons for a kitchen tea all while still making last minute sorbets, rolling and folding puff pastry and blending up Tomato soup.

The evening came rushing up and I was dressed, pressed and ready to impress in my Green Au'de Hex Uniform.
All the tables was set and the waiters served all the guests pretty pink pre-drinks.

First course was ready for serving and looked and tasted amazing.
Cold Tomato Soup with a drizzle of basil oil and a Buffalo Mozzarella Toastie


The soup was followed by a Mango Sorbet.

Second course was my absolute favorite, it's colors just stood out on the plate and the amazing combination and balance of flavors made my knees weak.

 Chermoula-wrapped Linefish with Tequila-flamed Paw-Paw
The fish course was complemented with a red grape sorbet.
The third course I was excited for the opportunity to play around with Asian flavors and showcase what I have learned and enjoyed eating during my stay in Taiwan.

Ginger Pork dumplings served with a Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
We followed up with a Litchi Sorbet, cutting gently through the spiciness of the pork course.
The meat and fourth course was a very French inspired dish and I was very drawn to the name of the dish: Grillé Poussin Breasts, Pâté de foie gras.

Roasted Chicken Breasts, stuffed with duck Liver Pâte, served with Oyster Mushrooms and Lime and Wholegrain Mustard Dressing
The final sorbet was a gooseberry sorbet and the tartness of the sorbet worked well after a very rich meaty course.

Sorbets from left to right: Mango, Grape, Litchi and Gooseberry

Dessert was the final course. I was very impressed with the combinations of the whole dish and how every element complimented each other.

Baby Apple Tartlet served with a slice of Mature Cheddar Cheese and a shot of Laborie Alambic Brandy
A very happy, relieved and proud Chef
Magic Moments 14 February 2015
As I mentioned earlier, this will probably be my cooking highlight for 2015 and I will look back in all my years to come and be proud of how this menu and food looked and tasted.
I want to thank the whole team at Au'de Hex from front of house to my fabulous Kitchen team. A big shout out to manager +Janine Eybers for always being calm and in control.
A very big thank you to our very talented up and coming photographer, Marié Bester for taking all the beautiful pictures showcased in this blog post.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the glimpse into the kitchen where I spend most of my waking hours doing what I love.
Lots of cooking Love