food

Gourmet Boerie


Biltong aside, boerewors is probably the second most common dish associated with South African culture. Better known as 'boerie', it instantly conjures up images of a sizzling braai outside on a sunny day, with family and friends gathered around the patio. Now the much-loved sausage has become the centre of attention with a new Cape Town-based restaurant aptly called Gourmet Boerie. This eatery is becoming a firm favourite amongst locals and anyone keen to sample some truly South African cuisine. House and Leisure chatted to one of its founding partners, Justin Stead, to get a sense of how it all started and of the innate 'South Africanness' behind the brand. Let's start with the origins of Gourmet Boerie. How did the concept come about? The concept around Gourmet Boerie first originated over 18 months ago between myself, and one of my best friends, Craig Bright. While chillaxing at home chowing some seriously good boerie, the idea of 'gourmet' plus 'boerie' was strung into one sentence. It's not hard to guess where two South Africans would eventually take a conversation like that. We were joined soon after by James Murray and Kate Marek and began working on bringing this idea to life. How do you feel about being labelled ‘boerewors artisans’? Not sure that quite fits us. If anything we would see ourselves as a product of South Africa and its people. Boerewors has been around for hundreds of years. The artisans of the boerie were our forefathers. We're just creating a home for it in a way. This idea is about more than just boerie for us too; even though we have spent months crafting and perfecting it, it’s about creating an environment in which each and every South African can be proud of this dish. We are a company dedicated to showcasing our rich culinary history and supporting all things local. What made you choose this almost South African staple as the core of your business, and how have you elevated boerie to a new level with your delicious creations? The decision to pursue this idea straight from conception was the very thing a boerie stands for and is everything it represents to our country. It is quintessentially, and so very proudly, South African. Our head chef, Kate Marek, has created the perfect tastes and flavours to complement our Gourmet Boerie rolls, and with our proudly local theme and environment, we didn't have to do much to take it to the next level. After all, boerie rolls have always been in a class of their own. Your menu truly has a South African flavour – from the ‘Breakfast Boerie’ to the ‘Chakalaka Boerie’ and ‘The Herbiwors’! What inspired these recipes and do you think it’s something people can easily replicate at home during the holidays? Our unique culture and history has definitely played a big part in our 'boerielicious' creations. Finding the right ingredients, textures and local flavours was very important to us, as it had to complement the boerewors perfectly. We sell our very own unique Gourmet Boerie in packs of six, which the public can try at home over the holidays. Our boerewors is cut into 24cm pieces, shrinking to 22cm when cooked, which ultimately means that you're going to need a pretty big roll! Keeping in mind quick preparation and hands-on ingredients, which are your top Gourmet Boerie recipes for the summer months?  Our best sellers so far are the Mexicano (tomato salsa, sour cream, guacamole, jalapeño chilli, coriander and cos lettuce), and the Hangover (bacon, caramelised pineapple and avocado with cheese sauce). We also have a great selection of South African desserts with the Mini Dessert Platter being the favourite - it includes a selection of homemade malva pudding, milk tart and apple crumble served with vanilla bean ice cream. What do you think is the ultimate side dish to enjoy with your boerie roll? So far people have been raving about our sweet potato chips, which we love too, and it goes with any of our Gourmet Boerie creations. Otherwise all our Gourmet Boerie rolls do come with a portion of shoestring chips. We see that you also cater to the more health-conscious crowds with your Boerie Salad and other options. Has this been well received by patrons? We have had a very good response to our Boerie Salad, which has thick slices of a pan-fried boerie thrown in. But for the health-conscious, why not gooi an ostrich or chicken boerie in the mix on a rye roll? That’s pretty healthy? What’s next for Gourmet Boerie? Any exciting future plans? We would love to take the humble South African boerie roll and create a place for it on the international stage, alongside all the other great dishes of the world. But for right now we're sticking to making our flagship Cape Town branch as good as we possibly can. Watch this space though. Do you have any cool holiday specials or events that we should know about? When South Africa plays in an international rugby, crickie or footie game, be sure to get down to Gourmet Boerie for our sports day specials. One of the favourite specials that we run is that you may choose any Gourmet Boerie roll and a craft beer for 50 bucks. Or simply connect with us on our Facebook or Twitter pages where we regularly post daily specials. To check out their mouthwatering menu or to find out more, visit gourmetboerie.co.za or call 021-424-4208. Even better, pop into Shop No. 5, Buitenkloof Studios, 8 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town to try a boerie roll yourself... Also look out for our feature on Gourmet Boerie on page 116 of our January/ February 2013 Trends issue, on sale 17 December 2012... Text: Kim Grové