From farm and forest to plateExpect anything from nose to tail cooking to great vegetarian dishes.
EXPLORATORY CULINARY ADVENTURE WITH CONSCIENCE At the start of the main street of Franschhoek there is a harmonious interchange of creativity between Is Art Gallery and Foliage, where chef Chris Erasmus is a pioneer in responsible, adventurous sourcing of ingredients. Here daring to be different means delicious. Chris is now doing what he says he wanted to do at the start, “My food is more ballsy,” he states. Rather than farmed beef and pork you will see birds (that were destroying wheat fields nearby) and game on his menu, but the focus is on real and raw, vegan and vegetarian. The beetroot carpaccio is a work of art, the fig leaf cheesecake surprising and the cauliflower main course is sure to convert carnivores into trying healthier, more vegetable choices. Desserts too take the cake – the vegan chocolate mousse and the nougatine dessert are both heavenly. Only one dessert has dairy in it – others are made from chickweed water and coconut cream. Many of his sauces are vegan-based, using citrus, beetroot, fennel and radishes. In addition to bold moves on his menu, Chris is instrumental in changing the way the chefs of Franschhoek work together. He is also proud that he has recently inspired local chefs to take salmon and scallops off their menus and to use local trout instead. Chris is enthused by his young kitchen team and loves fun dining rather than fine dining. There is laughter, louder-than-usual music and a sense of camaraderie, which creates a feeling of soul. “The music is for us in the kitchen, if we are happy the food is good. Proteins are not the hero of the dish. There are no limitations on how you want to eat – you choose your number of courses rather than us dictating.” “We use simpler, fewer ingredients and bring out the total deliciousness of them.” Chef Chris Erasmus