The Real Flavors of

SOUTH AFRICA

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THE FORAGE CHEF

Gregory Henderson


Best Head Chef Africa 2018 - WLRA

Global Winner "Most Sustainable Dining Experience" - LUX Awards 2018

Silver Medalist Salon Culinaire 2006

Chef of the Year Regional Finalist 2007

Chaine de Rottiseurs Regional Finalist 2005


Hailing from King Williams Town, Chef Gregory Henderson (39) has many restaurant openings under his belt. With two decades of experience in running fast pace, high volume, professional kitchens, he also held the title of Group Executive Chef for two leading Hotel Management Companies. Through his career Gregory has led some of the finest restaurants and food operations in the country.

Having received several recognition awards and medals, including a respectable Silver Medal for his Salon Culinaire presentation at the Hostex Salon Culinaire Competition in 2006, his most recent “Best Head Chef in Africa” was awarded in 2018, a title that he is immensely proud of.

He honed his skills from some of the best chefs in the country where he has moulded them into his own style and unique technique. Gregory has always been a purist and has always believed in the ethos of sustainable living and resources. Naturally, this is followed through in all his projects, across the continent, with various sustainable projects implemented at the hotels and lodges where he has been.

Wild Foods is his biggest passion, he says, "We live in a country that is bountiful with wild foods and indigenous ingredients. Our ancestors survived on these foods and edibles for generations. We have a rich culture and history; our ecosystems and biomes are diverse. I consider myself custodian of wild foods and I intent to preserve the wild foods and the heritage of our indigenous ingredients.” It is this philosophy that has attained him the title of “Most sustainable Dining Experience, Global Winner” also in 2018.

Chef Gregory has been fortunate to have travelled throughout Africa and through his journey had the opportunity to understand and learn various African culinary cultures and heritage foods, which has inspired him to showcase a proudly South African product.

Henderson believes in employing local community staff to develop and transfer skills to elevate the competency level of mostly unskilled labour, he says " a skilled work force is vital to the success of any business and certainly make running operations easier, but it is by far more rewarding to develop that skill in a passionate and willing individual that does not have the funds or resources to obtain formal training. I enjoy going on this journey with them."

Chef Gregory currently resides in the Western Cape, within the largest and most diverse floral kingdoms in the world, where he continues to forage and scout for indigenous and wild ingredients.

I am a regenerative culinary minded professional - Looking back to look forward sustainably.

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CULINARY INSPIRATIONS OF

Wild and Indigenous

FOODS OF SOUTH AFRICA

KAROO LAMB

Its flavour is unique to South Africa as it feeds off typical indigenous Karoo bushes which occur, such as Silverkaroo, Skaapbossie, Kapokbossie, Rivierganna, Ankerkaroo and Perdebos.

These high essential oil and medicinal plants with the Autumn season rains and the transition of C3 (26% of diet) and C4 grasses (13% of diet), give Karoo Lamb its unique flavour.

It can only be found within this unique veld type and eco region.

C3 grasses host sweeter flavors than C4 grasses which becomes sour with the rains that come over this season known as sweet and sour veld.

Meat Traceability is key to source ethically sustainable farmed produce this can be done through Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis based on grazing veld type.

Very interesting stuff.

When you taste Karoo Lamb you will have a floral explosion with hints of sweet terpenes from the shrub bush and c3 grasses with a finish of sour at the end from the C4 Sour veld.

Its Remarkable, and unique.

But without these indigenous landscapes this would not be possible. Preservation and regeneration is key.

The history well thats another story for another day.

#wildfoodrevolution #wildfoodseries #karoolamb #southafrica #satourism #SAChefs #wesgro #biomesofsouthafrica #sustainability #traceability #uniqueindigenousflavors #foragechef #nowwelearning

#realflavorsofsouthafrica

PORCINI





If you had to put a forest in a bowl this is what it would taste like.

When you pondering in the pine forests you sometimes have to kick a few pine needles to reveal some treasures.

This dish resembles that moment they peek and reveal themselves when those pine needles are moved.

#biomesofsouthafrica #foodsovereignty #wildfoodrevolution #southafrica #forest #wildandfree #satourism #SAChefs #foragechefonthemove #foragedfood #Wesgro #capetownsouthafrica


ELGIN APPLES

The heart of the Elgin Valley is now internationally known as the place in South Africa where apples come from because this area produces 60% of the national apple crop! The Elgin valley is also known for its pears, greenhouse cut flowers, its rose growing and increasingly for the production of high quality cool climate wines.

An early morning wonder through the Apple orchards in this region are something special, with earthy aromas and the sweetness from the blossoms and the bees and birds buzz and chirp in the background.

A crisp bite into an early morning cool climate chilled apple is something you can only experience in that one place and in that one moment of time to really taste the full flavor and aroma of an apple.

#Elgin #southafrica #biodiversity #regenerativemindset #wildfoodseries #wildfoodrevolution #SAChefs #satourism #wesgro #overberg #apples #nature #agroecologicalmindset #regenerative


MARIGOLD



Inspirations from the culture of KwaZulu-Natal embracing its ancient heritage, ceremonial processes and settlements throughout this regions coastline.

The Marigold represent the sun, symbolizing brightness and positive energy.

They are also associated with Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, who are considered an ideal couple in Hindu mythology.

Nature always has a story to tell and this is how we can draw inspiration. Keep innovating. This dish is 4 years old but represents something so special and it's culture.

#southafrica #satourism #ecotourism #kzn #foragechefonthemove #indigenoustourism #sachefs #bestchefs #sanpellegrinotop50 #edibleecosystems #savetourism #regenerativemindset #wildfoodrevolution



ELEMENTAL FLAVORS





The Earths elements are amazing and how these have transformed food cultures and ingredient diversity around the continent of South Africa.

A reminder, how powerful mother nature really is in our own evolution.

#southafrica #biodiversity #regenerativemindset #wildfoodseries #satourism #foragechefonthemove #culturefoods #indigenousdining #indigenoustourism #wildfoodrevolution



PONDOLAND


Pondoland - when you arrive you feel purity, when your feet touch the ground you feel life and culture.

Indigenous Nguni roam the coastlines with a mixed grazing habitat of coastal and thicket shrubs and grasses which give this beef a unique flavor profile, naturally roaming dependant on nature to sustain its diverse diet.

On low tides locals harvest coastal edibles to sustain their livelihoods such as the East Coast Rock Lobster with its rainbow of colors.

The sandstone regions of Transkei act as Edaphic Islands which influences this ecosystem and its natural processes.

This dish represents all these elements and the ecosystem it is all dependant on, a regenerative one in a sustainable form working in symbiosis as it does with nature.

Perennials create a little bit of diversity for the basket to uplift those flavor profiles and flora notes.

Pondoland Dreaming and it's beauty.

#thewildfoodrevolution #satourism #SAChefs #foragechefonthemove #southafricanfood #indigenousdining #indigenousingredients #southafrica #easterncape #thisis sustainablefood #eatout #slowfood #brandsa #dhet