Babel is 4 months old!

March 25th, 2011

This week Babel, our restaurant, is four months old!  It is almost impossible to believe that this is what it looked like less than half a year ago!  But what an adventure it’s been, from the actual building work and renovations to sourcing the table and glassware to employing the staff.
And we found such special people to make it all come to life.  Maranda Engelbrecht, who is well known and respected in foodie-circles, came on board to give us creative inspiration and creative instructions and creative tastes and creative…need I say more – she just makes magic!  Of course every ship needs a captain and heading our kitchen brigade is Simoné Rossouw that brings with her a wealth of experience gained from esteemed kitchens such as Le Quartier Français, The Showroom and most recently, The Big Easy.
And then there is the little vegetable patch in the backyard… 3.5 Hectares in fact, of the most amazing, interesting, inspiring and simply wonderful land covered with every herb a chef can dream of and vegetables of every shape and size.  It has enabled Babel to evolve into a hub of freshness, where simplistic flavours are served with a smile!
As a restaurant in a garden we are continuously working on new concepts of how to respect the produce that was grown and hand-picked with so much love from our gardeners!  We are even giving our waiters a weekly opportunity to get their fingers dirty and spend some time harvesting.  Over time they will become familiar with the layout of the garden, the seasonality of the produce and of course develop a passion for the ingredients in our food.  They love it!
At the moment the farm’s Peckham Pears are in season and we are poaching, juicing, preserving, roasting and preparing them in every possible way.  We have made chutneys and cordials and put them on our sandwiches and salads.  They are in all of the homemade drinks (you have to come try the Pear Sparkler!) and even used as decoration on the tables.
Enjoy the last few days of summer. Pretty soon we can start looking forward to pots bubbling with all kinds of root vegetables, leafy greens and delicious dishes packed with vitamins and minerals.  Not to mention our upcoming chilli crop and the citrus! Oh, you should experience the Naartjies but we’ll go there next time. I can’t wait for winter…I’ve been waiting for a year to try out the underfloor heating!

Smaaklike week !


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