Have you heard of Veld and Sea? No? Than it is about time!
I am a big fan of indigenous food. Cape Town’s unique flora and fauna is so rich with plants and greens which are specific to this region that you simply have to get excited about what is growing right in front of your doorstep. Most of us know Rooibos tea and Buchu. But how do you know what you can eat or which plant has healing or poisonous properties? You certainly could read up about it, however, I recommend simply joining a course with Roushanna Gray.
Roushanna has been living and working at the Good Hope Garden Nursery very close to Cape Point for almost a decade. Since joining the nursery she became obsessed in using indigenous plants as food, healing and even beauty product source. She started to experiment with seasonal growing plants and eventually decided to teach people about what she had learned. Her Cape Malay background and love for great food have inspired her to start pop up dinners as well as foraging in ‘Veld and Sea’. For a foreigner like me Roushanna has become an easy accessible medium to learn more about my home country of choice. What I love about Cape Town most are that it combines city life with an easy access to nature and sea. You can live close to the hustle and bustle of the city or in a remote location like Roushanna. Everything is still within close reach. So we made our way to this beautiful and thoughtful prepared event.
For the ‘Forage Vegan Food Art Feast’ Roushanna collaborated with Parusha Naidoo. The two met years ago as students and connected via Facebook again. Parusha is a vegan chef that has lived in Germany for the last 3 years. She specialized in Pop up Dinners and together the inventive foodies stared to create amazing edible ideas. Some of which we were lucky enough to get to taste!
We arrived at the Good Hope Garden Nursery around noon and were invited to have a walk in their beautiful garden. With a cocktail in our hands (a yummy Gin & tonic mix including pink champagne, secret homemade syrup from indigenous berries, edible plants and lavender) Roushanna led us through the nursery pointing out and explaining the ingredients of our meal. Most of the food was foraged freshly from the garden and the cooking duo had started to prepare the feast 3 days in advance. We were then led to the beautiful prepared table where we set down but, hungry as we were, the food looked so gorgeous that we were actually considering not eating it. Tiny edible pieces of art on cabbage leaves, mussel shells, stones and wood presented a feast for the eye. I have never in my life seen a more gorgeous looking meal! We eventually overcame our initial hesitation to eat and dug in. My favourite dishes out of this meal was peeled kelp that had been pickled with beet root and pickle spice which had a lovely pink colour and a little bit of ginger made it a treat for the tongue.
We also were presented with a cigar-looking item, which turned out to be a dehydrated carrot with Tahini and Seaweed. A dash of oil and soya sauce did something incredible to my taste buds. I was genuinely sad that we only got one each and will try to make them on my own! For dessert we were presented with another cocktail and vegan chocolate milk tart. Filled to the brim, we chatted some more and eventually made our way back home.
Considering the amount of effort and quality that goes into preparing every event the tickets that go for R 500 per person are a bargain! I can highly recommend joining the lovely team. Make it a birthday present for a good friend or a treat for a special occasion. You won’t regret experiencing this well hidden little gem. I will be back for the forage experience!