Every time I think of my dad in a food situation the same things always comes to mind. How he would find any excuse to light up the braai (BBQ), savouring a bar of Lindt Chilli for days on end, the ridiculous amount of coffee he drank and how he very graciously accepted the rabbit cassoulet that I made specially for him even though it was sitting untouched in the back of his fridge more than a week later.

My dad was proud and highly supportive of what I did as a chef – even if he sometimes rather hid what I dropped off before trying something a tad too foreign for his palate.

So, after not posting anything for a while I’ve decided to get off my lazy ass, whip out the camera and post this.

Memories of my childhood always replays the same things – my grandmother baking, the early morning sounds of tractors ambling past our house on their way to the fields, holidays and weekends spent at the beach all day while my father fished with his friends.

It’s been twenty years or more since I experienced the last and the one thing that stands out like the swooping glare of a lighthouse at night is the memory of a freshly caught galjoen on an open fire.

At first sight a galjoen or black bream is not a particularly attractive fish, yet it holds a mighty flavor reinforced for me by many sense memories.

But let me tell you, that scaling and gutting a fish is a thankless job, albeit worth it at the end.
Yet the smell that lingers on my hands from the fishy intestines is far from unpleasant. It reminds me of my father and endless days spent at the beach watching him fishing and preparing his catch for dinner.

galjoen2

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay

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And just as you thought it couldn’t get weirder

I’m a fan of fresh ingredients. I like to know where my produce is coming from like most other people do nowadays. Maybe its part of growing up on a farm or being part of family heavily involved in my industry. Maybe it drives you a little loopy.

Apologies to all the vegans and vegetarians out there, but if you’re not prepared to kill it, you shouldn’t eat it.

Right, so maybe it’s just a chef thing.

It gets weirder