Neil Perry's African adventure

November 19, 2012, 11:56 am Victoria Jones Yahoo!7

The Australian chef gets inspired by South African food philosophies.

Neil Perry
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What impressed you most about South African food?

The multicultural nature of it – I really enjoyed the Indian influence.

Is there a wealth of fresh produce to choose from?

There is quite a lot of good fish, and the game is really impressive.

How did you incorporate local produce into your dishes?

We cooked with local crayfish, kingclip and prawns. The local seafood worked well with the dishes we cooked at 54 on Bath.

Can you share with us any traditional South African cooking techniques you will use at home?

I loved the curries I tasted in Durban and the use of fresh tomato with spices to make a yummy sauce.

What was your most memorable meal from your South African adventure?

I really enjoyed the breakfast they prepared for us at the end of our last safari at Phinda. We had just seen amazing lions, and on our way back they surprised us with a breakfast set up in the bush. We were treated to a fantastic egg and curried lentil dish on toast which I really loved with a good cup of tea. The fact that it was out in the open and all of us were together is what made it so special.


How has international cuisine influenced Australian food culture?

It has made it what it is. The strength of the ingredients and multicultural influences is modern Australian food.

What do you love most about Australian cooking, eating out?

The diversity.

If you had just three ingredients to cook with, what would they be?

Chilli, salt, extra virgin olive oil.

What’s your idea of the ultimate meal?

Steamed mud crab.

Are there any popular food trends you’re excited about at the moment?

I like authentic cuisine, so I’m enjoying the amount of quality Middle Eastern food available at the moment.

Lastly, Christmas is coming up - how will you celebrate the festive season?

By sleeping as much as possible and eating sitting down for the first time in 3 months (I have just opened Rosetta in Melbourne and have been working 18 hour days for 3 months).

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See some of the recipes Neil Perry came across on his travels:
Oxtail potjie
Biltong free range yolk and new potato salad

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