Relais & Chateaux hotel restaurants in Cape Town
Peter Tempelhoff is the Executive Chef of six outstanding Relais & Chateaux hotel restaurants in Cape Town, including The Greenhouse, Cape Malay Kitchen and Conservatory at Cellars-Hohenort, The Sand at The Plettenberg and the Pavilion and Seafood at The Marine hotel in Hermanus.He is about to open his seventh restaurant and talks about why the Big Green Egg would be perfect for his new location.
Why do you want to put a charcoal grill in your kitchen?
Three reasons, firstly my new kitchen is open plan so the diners can see the food being prepared and a Big Green Egg looks great and will work well with the design. The second reason is our use of the sous vide method of cooking where you vacuum pack meats and heat them in water at low temperatures until they are perfectly cooked. To finish the dish, you need to grill at a very high temperature to get the char-grilled crust and flavour – the Big Green Egg is perfect for this. The Egg is also very safe – the heat and flames are enclosed inside the unit and the outside never gets that hot so there’s no danger of anyone knocking against it and getting a serious burn.
What have you been cooking on your Big Green Egg?
I’ve just done a function for Yardstick, my wine label (www.yardstickwines.com), and we cooked a whole sirloin and made some interesting pizzas on the Big Green Egg. We used goat meat, goat cheese, Peppadews and caramelised onions – sounds like quite a mix of flavours but it all came together nicely and the pizza was infused with that great, smoky flavour. At home, I like to slow-cook a leg of lamb for an easy, hassle-free meal.
What’s your slow-roasted leg of lamb recipe?
I stud a leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary and rub some salt over it and then leave it overnight for those flavours to absorb into the meat. Then I get the Big Green Egg fired up to a steady 150°C and, after basting the lamb with oil, I put it in the Egg and leave it for three hours. It’s that simple! I might add that I only use 1/3 of a bag of charcoal for that whole time.
Chefs love them but is the Big Green Egg a good option for anyone?
I love my Big Green Egg because it works so well and is versatile and controllable. It’s definitely a good investment for anyone who wants to get excellent results from their outdoor cooking endeavours. You don’t have to be a chef to use one, once you get the hang of it, anyone can use it and start experimenting with the other features such as smoking and baking.
Have you done any experimentation?
Not as much as I’d like, I’ve been extremely busy setting up my new restaurant but I’m definitely planning to make some bread in the Big Green Egg. I’d like to make a range of rustic bread such as sourdough and rye as well as baguettes and ciabattas. Having tasted how the pizza comes out, I think this will work beautifully.