The Tasting Room Restaurant
Africa’s only female Grand Chef and the genius behind The Tasting Room
At Le Quartier Français, a multi-award winning restaurant in Franschoek. She is also a Big Green Egg fan.
How long have you had a Big Green Egg at Le Quartier Français?
We’ve been using one in our Lounge Bar for about a year now.
What are you using it for?
We have a tapas style menu in the bar and serve a tandoori duck leg which is cooked in the Big Green Egg. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to a tandoori oven without actually being a tandoor as it is capable of reaching very high temperatures. The result is really delicious. We also use it to cook baby chickens and char vegetables. My entire kitchen uses induction so the Big Green Egg is the only open flame cooking device we have.
Do your staff love the Big Green Egg?
One of my chefs, Vanie Padayachee, hosts cooking classes and she loves to use the Big Green Egg to show how to prepare tandoori style dishes. She’s a big fan and the classes are very popular.
What else are you cooking?
At the restaurant, we have a small Egg so the options are limited but we’ve just ordered another. I have one at home that has replaced every other outdoor cooking device. I like to roast a whole chicken or cook some beef short ribs on a low heat for a long time. I love that the Big Green Egg’s temperature is so controllable. I’ve done some smoking in it and plan to make some pizza next.
What’s the best thing about the Big Green Egg for you?
The temperature control, as I’ve mentioned, is superb. It really is like having an oven that runs on charcoal. And the lovely, smokiness that charcoal cooking produces really adds flavour to many dishes.
What’s in the pipeline for Le Quartier Français?
At the moment, we are busy renovating. We had some flood damage in the bar area that needed to be fixed so we took the opportunity to close the Lounge Bar and make some other changes that we wanted at the same time. When we open again*, we’ll have another Big Green Egg which will give us more scope to utilise it in our menus.
*Le Quartier Français reopened on 8th July.