Premier restaurant, onenineone, hosted a lunch on Friday, 12th October to share with the local community a glimpse of a Hyatt global chef’s competition titled The Good Taste Series. One of this year’s participants was onenineone head chef Xavier Francis who represented South Africa in Dar Es Salaam at the regional semi-final on Monday, 8th October 2018. Arriving back home in Johannesburg only a few hours before the lunch, he brought with him tangible inspiration and passion to share during the lunch.
The Good Taste Series global competition, which started in the US in 2014, aims to cultivate and celebrate emerging culinary talent, cultures, diversity and creativity through food. In this spirit, onenineone was encouraged to pay it forward by inviting local culinary trainee chefs from the Hospitality Training Association (HTA) into their kitchen. The trainees joined Chef Xavier in creating a two-course meal inspired by the black box meal he created at the competition.
The content of the black box was unveiled to trainee chefs just prior to the guests’ arrival and contained an assortment of vegetables, Eastern Cape Kabeljou and Karoo lamb, sourced from suppliers who share the same values on sustainability as onenineone. While keeping in mind the chef’s philosophy of sustainability and responsible handling of food, their input and suggestions molded the lunch offering into a spectacular meal.
A starter of Ceviche served with fresh sea herbs, tasting of the ocean, and marinated in a citrus-based “leche de tigre” (tiger’s milk), was the perfect foil for the main course. Interspersed with inspirational stories and enthusiastic guest interaction, a rich yet delicious lamb loin followed. This was served with sweetbread topped with lamb fillet tartare and a poached quail’s egg, complimented by the delicate anise flavor of Chervil. As Chef Xavier emphasized when starting out preparations for the meal, nothing was left to waste.
In opening onenineones’ kitchen, the event served as a platform to illustrate to the trainee chefs the aspects of their training which they need to prioritise in order to ensure that the philosophy of sustainability and responsible handling of food will be understood, appreciated and prioritised in their own kitchens.
Have you tasted the magical element carefully sourced, responsibly handled food brings to a plate? In onenineone’s kitchen and hopefully the future kitchens of the next generation culinary chefs, expect to instantly recognize this distinct taste.