I know that the word ‘foodie’ doesn’t have the best connotation, but right now it’s the closest label I can give myself. I have become obsessed with food, eating good food, making good food and of course, where the food I eat comes from. That last point has become one of the most important part of my food consumption recently. You’ve heard the stories about the ‘farms’ that our animals are kept on and GMOs, pesticides and sustainability have become the norm for party discussions. It can be a little daunting at first, and even though I’ve watched many documentaries about food, my official introduction to many of these concepts was lunch with Chef Jame Diack when he introduced his idea of Seasonality.
Before I continue, let’s go over some definitions (even if you don’t need them, I do):
- Seasonality (of food): “Seasonality of food refers to the times of year when the harvest or the flavour of a given type food is at its peak.”
- Provenance: The knowledge of where your food comes from, from the seedling/egg until the time of cooking including how the food is transported.
- Organic: “‘Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives.”
- Sustainable: “In 2010, the FAO and Bioversity International defined a sustainable diet as: those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations.”
- Ethical eating: Ethical eating refers to understanding the moral consequences of food choices and take into consideration damage to the environment, exploitative labour practices, food shortages for others, inhumane treatment of food animals, and the unintended effects of food policy
When I arrived at lunch I pretty much thought we’d cover one topic, the idea of Seasonality, because that’s what the new menu was about. At All three restaurants in Diacks portfolio, he follows the idea of Seasonality. Which means, if avocado is not in season then you’re not going to get avocado. As a Millenial, this is a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s also a pill we need to swallow. We’re so far removed from the food we eat we forget that it is a living thing and it matters. The idea of not having avocado on tap is easier to swallow when I put it into the bigger picture of what Diack is doing. As a pioneer of Provenance in South Africa, Diack understands exactly where all the food in his restaurant comes from and how it gets there and 95% of that is now from his family-owned farm in Magaliesburg. What doesn’t come from his farm, is meticulously sourced from ethical local suppliers. From what I hear about the farm, it sounds like an actual farm, not what some mass-producers think is a farm.
So, what about the actual food?
Think, hearty, approachable and well-balanced dishes prepared well. Need I say more?
Try Coobs, I think you’ll be surprised (like I was) by how much you enjoy it.