I had the most amazing opportunity given to me by Woman & Home Magazine SA and Sun International recently that I just have to tell you about it. Two friends and I went on a foraging adventure and afterwards we had our meal cooked by the Table Bay Hotel’s executive chef Jocelyn Meyers-Adams!
Our adventure started in ideal Cape Town autumn weather for a short hike. We arrived at the Table Bay Hotel at 9.30 am and were already taken in by the splendour of the building and very friendly, relaxed hotel staff.
We had half an hour to spare so took in the ambience of the hotel foyer, used the lavish restrooms and then we were off to Newlands Forrest, just below Rhodes Memorial. Driven by Abraham in the hotel’s mini van.
During our drive Chef Jocelyn informed us about the food we could expect to find during autumn. The best time of the year for foraging is during spring, we were told, so pickings might be slim. But we would still find edible fruits and leaves to incorporate into our lunch dishes.
And so we picked up acorns, picked Noem-noems (Natal plums) and snow peas. We looked for edible mushrooms, but the weather was too dry for them and pine nuts. The squirrels had already been collecting their winter grub!
So off we went to Mouille Point beach to look for more wild plants to add to our lunch.
We gathered seaweed from the ocean and sea spinach from along the promenade! Good heavens! We had no idea how this delicious food was growing right under our noses. We also picked sour figs and on route to the hotel, hibiscus flowers.
In the hotel garden Chef Jocelyn picked some carrots and wild garlic and then we were lead into the kitchen to prepare our 3-course meals. Vegetarian for me and fish for my friends main meal.
We helped prepare some of the salad ingredients, watched the professional chefs in action and then it was off to our table to enjoy our meal.
All our foraged food items were incorporated in the three dishes served.
My main dish looked BEAUTIFUL and was filled with an explosion of flavour. I don’t remember eating anything like that even in Melbourne.
My friends savoured their silver fish.
Our final course was dessert! Another explosion of sweet, delicious flavours! Some of the Noem-noems were poached and the rest were made into a purée then served with homemade ice cream, hibiscus flowers and a lavender meringue.
I hadn’t seen my friends in about 18 months, so this was a fantastic way to catch up and share a once in a lifetime experience.
After our meal, we sat in the relaxed atmosphere talking about our special day. And finally made our way home.
If you are interested, you can book foraging package for 4 people at The Table Bay Hotel. It’s an experience I would highly recommend!