Harvey’s Restaurant is one of Durban’s most celebrated eateries. Consistently voted one of the city’s (and the country’s) best restaurants and the winner of many prestigious awards, Harvey’s reputation is well-deserved.
We chatted to the restaurant’s award-winning owner and chef patron, Andrew Draper, about his favourite foodie things and winter inspiration.
What food trends do you think will be big in 2012? Food will be going very organic, vegetables will be getting their due. Heirloom vegetables and long lost and forgotten favourites will be brought back to celebrate their original nuances. People are also growing their own vegetables in convenient growth packs and microherb trays.
Which of your fellow local chefs do you admire? Ruben (Riffel) has put South African food on the map. Durban has some great chefs, and with our wonderful mixture of cultures, food has many influences and a specific style.
Favourite recipe book of all-time? Charlie Trotter’s cookbooks have always been an inspiration, but if I had to choose one book, I’d choose Anton Mossiman’s Art of Cooking… 40 years old and the dishes are modern and fresh enough to go on a menu today.
Top foodie blog at the moment? Hmmm… Sorry, don’t follow any… Epicurious.com is the best reference recipe site, though.
Personal foodie weakness? Freshly grilled foie gras – so evil, so politically incorrect, so cruel… But so tasty it’s worth going to hell for!
What is your favourite winter dish – to eat and to cook? A good old-fashioned oxtail. We cook ours for hours in a rich red onion marmalade.
Do you have any tips for home cooks when it comes to making the perfect roast? Don’t be so hasty. Let your meat rest – for about a third of its cooking time should be perfect.
And something that may add that ‘wow’ factor? To a roast I love to add ‘bits’. So to roast beef, loads of fresh horseradish slivers; for my pork, juliennes of deep fried ginger and what would roast chicken be with loads of buttered leeks?
Any suggestions for something a little different this winter? Rhubarb is a wonderful versatile winter vegetable. I love mine cooked in butter, sugar and ginger. I add it to mince pies and apple puree, I puree it into a sauce with roast duck, add it to creme brulees… Its versatility is boundless.
Anything at Harvey’s we should look out for as the weather turns colder? The fire places will be on in the lounges and our slow cooked pork belly, our deconstructed kudu ‘Wellington’ and the deboned lamb neck bordelaise, cooked for eight hours in an intense red wine reduction with parsnip puree will be on the menu… That should warm any winter.
To find out more about Harvey’s Restaurant , visit their website at harveysrestaurant.co.za
Text: Candice Botha, Images: Supplied