Top London Chef Lawrence Lingard, who is currently competing in the Clipper Race, has been sampling local dishes in Cape Town this week. His global culinary search led him to Kayamandi, where he was invited to a theatrical African eatery called AmaZink, to cook the country’s national dish.
Local chef Peter De Jager challenged Lawrence to cook the traditional dish of Bobotie that is enjoyed by families across South Africa. Pronounced ba-boor-tea, it’s a delicious mixture of curried meat and fruit with a creamy golden topping, not dissimilar to moussaka.
“The ingredients are simple and straight forward; a dish that we could easily use and adapt on the boat,” explained Lawrence. “It’s hearty food at the end of the day, something that’s nutritious and will provide us with plenty of energy on board during the next big challenge – the Southern Ocean.
Bobotie is known to have originated from Batavian colonies of the East India Company. It got its name from the Indonesian word ‘bobotok’. It was first adopted by the Cape Malay people in South Africa in the 17th century and was prepared with beef and pork in the Cape of Good Hope.
“It has been a fantastic day joining the local community here in Stellenbosch discovering the traditions and history behind the national dish of South Africa, which I discovered dates back to the 1600s, and is still regarded as a staple dish across the country today.” Added Lawrence.
AmaZink is a unique dining experience where customers are entertained with culturally authentic music with a chorus of energetic local talent. General Manager Hendrick Lange was thrilled to play host the international globe-trotting chef for the day.
“This has definitely been one of the highlights of the year for us. It has been an absolute honour to have Lawrence here. I have been a great fan of the Clipper Race for some time now and I love the whole concept. AmaZink are honoured to have you with us today.”
The ingredients used for the traditional South African dish are shallots, raisins, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander seed, bay leaf, apricot jam, sweet chutney, vinegar and finished off with ingredients unique to each cook to add their own twist; in this case coconut and breadcrumbs, topped off with a savoury custard topping.
After a lesson in the kitchen Lawrence served up the dish to talented local musicians and performers who later put on a traditional African performance against the spectacular back drop of mountainous Stellenbosch.
The theatre was launched in October 2011. Their third season’s public shows are scheduled once a week on Friday evenings. AmaZink Live is also available as a function venue offering bar, catering and entertainment services www.amazink.co.za/
Lawrence, the owner of Simplicity Restaurant in Rotherhithe, London, is the victualler for the yacht Qingdao in the Clipper Race and is responsible for planning all the menus, ingredients and getting supplies in ports of call during the round the world voyage.
Race 4 of the 16 race series departs Cape Town, South Africa for Albany Western Australia on Monday 4 November. The official start will be at 14.30 local time (12.30 UTC) in Table Bay.