The Table Bay nurtures urban hunter-gatherers

The Table Bay nurtures urban hunter-gatherers

True to its promise to deliver authentic South African experiences, The Table Bay has introduced customized foraging expeditions that provide the opportunity to explore Cape Town’s splendid “natural outdoor market” with Executive Chef, Jocelyn Myers-Adams.

The foraging experiences are under the guidance of recognized urban hunter-gatherer, Charles Standing, who has an intricate knowledge of the Cape’s landscapes and the opportunities that lie therein to harvest wild plants for culinary use.

Depending on what is available in nature’s larder, foragers are taken on informative and scenic tours of some of Cape Town’s beautiful areas, from Rondebosch and Tamboerskloof, to Sea Point and Cape Point. Each experience is unique.

Foragers are then invited to venture into the kitchen with Myers-Adams to learn more about preparing food using their harvests.

“The Cape’s exquisite ecosystem boasts a diverse array of native plants that can be used creatively to enhance the flavours of foods, and even define dishes,” says Myers-Adams.

“Capetonians themselves may not even be aware of the spectacular opportunities to incorporate wild plants, often growing right on their doorsteps, into their cooking. While cooking with Fynbos has gained popularity, there are countless other plants which can be picked from the wild to give character to dishes,” adds the chef.

Myers-Adams regularly forages for herbs and plants for use in her kitchen, incorporating seasonal plants into her cooking to add unique flavours to dishes. For instance, edible flowers like Hibiscus blooms, with their cranberry-like flavour and citrus overtones, are used as a colourful and delightful addition to salads, while Nasturtium blossoms, with their sweet yet spicy flavour, are an ideal ingredient for open sandwiches and savoury appetisers.

Num Nums foraged from the nearby V&A Waterfront are innovatively used in a compote for her signature pork belly dish, while Dune Spinach, with its interesting, meaty texture and sea-flavour, foraged in Sea Point, can be used to draw out flavours in a variety of meat and fish dishes.

“Our foraging expeditions appeal to the innate hunter-gatherer instinct that resides in many of us, and provide for an interactive and enlightening platform to learn more about harnessing the fruits of our natural surroundings to be creative in the kitchen,” says Myers-Adams.

The foraging expeditions are run for groups of about four people, subject to availability. Packages include transport from the hotel to the foraging destination, expert guidance from Standing, and creative input from Myers-Adams.

* For more information and availability on the tour packages, call The Table Bay on 021 406 5770; or send an email to tbhbus@suninternational.com.