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Creative forces combined at Mosaic Restaurant this month when Chantel Dartnall hosted fellow South African chef Gregory Czarnecki and team from Restaurant at Waterkloof, for two four hand dinners in Pretoria, South Africa.
Over two consecutive evenings, 23 and 24 May, expectant diners were treated to an unforgettable culinary feast of 8 courses, with wine pairings, served by two of South Africa's most renowned chefs in the restaurant's sumptuous belle epoque styled dining room.
The two chefs worked together seamlessly sharing their passion for the culinary arts and expertise devising a number of dishes for the occasion. Both have been recognised as Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year with Gregory Czarnecki holding the current title.
Chef Chantel's signature botanical cuisine and Chef Gregory's like minded respect for nature presented the perfect complimentary gastronomical pairing.
We caught up with chef Chantel Dartnall to find out more about three of her dishes from the night, as well as her inspiration behind each dish.
Madumbi, Soetdoring Smoke, Venison
"It is striking how every city has its own unique smell. Stepping off the plane in Bangkok, the aroma of exotic spice permeates the air, while Paris smells of humanity - reminding me of closely packed bodies in the metro stations. Returning home from our travels, I always look forward to that first whiff of Johannesburg's unique scent in mid-winter, a mix of veld fire smokiness and the sweet aromas of Acacia wood burning. This is us - the exotic smell of Africa... of home. With this dish, I want to tell the story of my home - the abundance of our wildlife, the exotic tastes and aromas of our open spaces, and the sweet smokiness of our campfires. A balanced composition of Red Hartebeest, Madumbi roots and baby Turnips."
Soupe du Jour
Cauliflower, Goose Liver Mousse, Brussels Sprouts
"A humble soup dish that not only saves the chef’s budget, but also provides the opportunity to toss anything and everything that was left over from yesterday into a pot... and dish it up to your patrons under an important sounding name. But, what if we turn the idea around and present a humble soup with noble ingredients and decadent flavours, tempting the palate with a soft creaminess and exploding flavours... This dish originated seven years ago as a small amuse bouche and quickly became a favourite, with patrons asking for more (who ever heard of a second serving of the same amuse bouche!?) - going home with jam jars filled with what was left over in my pot. This year it returns as our second last starter, an impressive cauliflower cream soup permeated with earthy autumn flavours and richness, Brussels Sprouts filled to bursting with creamy Foie Gras mousse and black Perigord truffle. And, just to be safe, we are serving a double portion of the soup from the start..."
Salmon Ceviche, Verbena Aspic, Vanilla, Seaweed Salad
"I love fish! Throughout my apprenticeship in Europe, my preferred position in the kitchen was always at the fish station. During the few respites we allowed ourselves, you would always find me not far from the ocean. Even when we travel abroad, we always tend to end up along the coast to rest and recuperate - my family with their noses buried in books that had to stay on the shelves of their library during the busy periods, and me with my toes in the shallow waters of the tidal pools, amazed by the miniature treasures of the sea. It was during one of these lazy summer days, with me, feet dangling from the rocks, toes in the water and lost in my own private world, that this dish started to take form in my mind. Clear, pure water through which you can see all the tiny creatures and plant life on the sandy bottom - a small self-contained little universe."
Good news for those that didn't manage to make it to this event - the chef collaboration will continue apace on 13 and 14 September 2017, when the Mosaic Team will travel to Cape Town to share the kitchen with team at Waterkloof – bookings can be made directly with Waterkloof restaurant.