Meet Mary Rolph Lamontagne, a food blogger and sustainable food advocate living in South Africa. Mary is originally from Montreal but she has both travelled and lived in many places around the world. After training at the Ritz-Escoffier Culinary School in Paris, she honed her skills in Montreal before moving to South Africa 7 years ago, where she trains chefs in bush camps and help them rework their menus to feature good, sustainable food. On her blog, The Good Food Quest, Mary shares ideas on how everyone can be eco-sensitive without having to make big lifestyle changes. She is also working on a cookbook to be released in 2013 that will feature recipes as well as tips on nutrition, gardening and how to reuse your waste to live a greener life.
My Edible City
Cape Town. South Africa is known as the “Rainbow Nation” and its cuisine is exactly that. In my newly adopted city of Cape Town, there is a rich heritage of food combining influences from the Europeans, the Malaysian and Indonesian slaves, the Indian labourers, the Afrikaners and finally the indigenous people.
When my husband decided to move our family to this distant yet intriguing city eight years ago, we had no idea what to expect. My first month in my new hometown was an adventure of discovery. Every day, map in hand, driving on the left side of the road, I would visit a new neighborhood, museum or restaurant. Little did I know that this city, known for its table mountain and surrounding vineyards, would offer such food diversity. The Malaysian spices found at family run Atlas Trading Co. on Rose street in the Bo-Kaap are used by the Cape Malay to create irresistible curries. The Afrikaaners, descendants from the Dutch, use less spice but create mouthwatering baked goods such as Malva pudding, melkterts and their ever famous koeksisters. Less than 20 minutes away, some of the oldest vineyards in South Africa offer wine pairing with African inspired meals that date back to the French Hugenots, who were the pioneers of wine production in South Africa.
Cape Town is at the most Southern tip of Africa so yes, it is not easy to get to but it is well worth the trek! But remember, do not forget your hiking shoes because after all the good food you need to get out to enjoy the endless hiking trails and beaches in and around Cape Town.
My Favorite Dish
Sushi from Willoughby’s & Co. There is such a massive variety of food and drinks in Cape Town that it is hard to pinpoint my absolute favorite dish. Whenever I have friends from afar for dinner, I always prepare a braai (Afrikans for BBQ) and serve ostrich steaks and boerewors (spiced sausages). Dessert is my favorite and often consists of malva pudding and melktarts. This is typical fare that is received with rave reviews because of its originality for foreigners but my go to dish, the one that has never disappointed me in the 8 years I have lived in Cape Town, is the 4 x 4 combo sushi dish at Willoughby’s & Co in The V & A Waterfront. Yup, a restaurant in a massive mall at the city’s waterfront. Tourists as well as locals queue to dine on their original selection of sushi that rivals the world’s best. Once you are hooked, it is hard to go anywhere else.
The 4 x 4 is a combination of four pieces of the rainbow reloaded and four pieces of the spicy creamy rock shrimp roll. The rainbow reloaded is packed with the freshest salmon and tuna while the creamy rock shrimp roll is topped with tempura fried shrimp coated in a luscious secret sauce. The ambiance is not necessarily the best but the sushi is so enthralling that you hardly notice where you are!
- Eat Out, Mary’s favorite Cape Town and South Africa restaurant guide
- Mary’s reviews of restaurants in South Africa
- Tour Cape Town’s best neighborhoods and taste local dishes with Coffeebeans Routes’ food tours
- Neighborhood Goods Market, a Saturday happening place where you can sample all sorts of interesting food and drinks
- After eating amazing food and tasting wonderful wines, it’s always lovely to wander through some of South Africa’s most beautiful national parks
- Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, a stunning garden on the slopes of Table Mountain that showcases the largest variety of indigenous species in the world
Next Week on Edible Cities
Next week, Kristin Guy, a graphic designer and food blogger, is taking us to Los Angeles. Don’t miss it!