Longridge Wine Estate restaurant
We caught up with him after a very successful “Longridge Langtafel” event where guests were treated to a 5-course culinary feast accompanied by the estate’s award-winning wines.
Your love of the EGG comes a long way. In fact, from your time spent with Reuben Riffel and Margot Janse (both EGG owners) and on to Boschendal where they have an EGG in their kitchen. What’s your personal favourite feature of the Big Green Egg?
Without a doubt, the heat retention on the EGG; it just cannot be compared to any other cooker. I’ll give you an example: We recently hosted the Longridge Langtafel where we cooked for about 12 hours at 80°C. With 200 guests, there was a fair amount of opening and closing of the EGG lid, but you know what? The next morning, that Egg was still warm! Also, in a commercial kitchen, the EGG is a great partner to sous vide cooking for giving great flavour which for us, as chefs, is the most important. You just don’t get that flavour from a gas grill.
People are sometimes intimidated by “fancy chef tools”. Yet, the EGG fits in as well in a commercial kitchen as it does a homeowner’s entertainment area. What do chefs and backyard braai-ers appreciate about the EGG?
As a chef, I appreciate the “no fuss” aspect to cleaning and maintaining the EGG. It’s definitely easier to clean than a standard charcoal grill or open fire pit. I love the flavour options the EGG allows me to play with as well. For the guy (or girl) EGGing away in their backyard, they can cook like a chef with all the options the EGG gives them. Things like naan bread and chapattis that are normally the reserve of restaurants (or a secretive relative!) can now easily be baked at home in no time. It really is a case of buying an EGG for life.
Easter is around the corner. What would be your go-to meal on the EGG?
It’s definitely a time of the year we like to relax with something chilled like a butterflied leg of lamb cooked quickly on the grill. Marinade it the night before in a mixture of soya sauce, chilli and ginger (all to taste) and then cook it directly, turning it once, for medium-rare. Leave it to rest before tucking in. Prawns or freshly caught fish like Silvers are equally delicious on the EGG.
There are well over 100 accessories in the Big Green Egg range. What’s your favourite to play with?
I personally love to bake chapatis and naan bread on the EGG, so the ceramic baking stone is pretty cool.
Baking. Grilling. Smoking. The EGG does it all, but what’s your favourite recipe to cook?
At the moment, I’ve been making a smoked onion puree which we incorporate into a mayo to accompany a slow-cooked brisket. You can really smoke anything with the EGG and that’s pretty exciting!
Get chef Maritz’ smoked onion mayo recipe here.