Resident chef of Avondale Wine’s Faber, Eric Bulpitt, dishes up fresh fare to pair with the farm’s organic wine
What’s unique about Faber?
We are on an organic wine farm where we believe in the synergy between the land and its ambassadors. We strive to be more conscious about what, and how we use produce, and about the stories we tell about our food and wine, besides the fact that each chef has his own unique style. We focus on a more relaxed refined dining experience. In a world of high costs we have opted to move away from pricey multi-course tasting menus and offer a more affordable à la carte menu, but still focus on offering a refined exciting experience.
What’s the difference between organic and non-organic wine?
In conventional farming many harmful pesticides are used to control pests and viruses. In organic farming we use no harmful pesticides and chemicals, but we go further than that and use a natural fermentation process and low sulphur.
Do you use organic ingredients at Faber?
Avondale has a very young vegetable garden where the same organic and biodynamic principles are adhered to. We do, however, also source as much organic produce as we can. We are not at this moment completely organic, but have a five-year goal to reach an 80% organic status.
What’s the healthiest dish on the menu?
At Faber we want our guests to come and indulge. We keep the menu as light as possible by steering away from purees and heavy jus. Our aim for our cuisine is to be minimalist, focused and seasonal. One of the healthiest options on the menu at the moment is cured yellowtail, cucumber and dill.
We cure the yellowtail in salt, sugar and Kombu for 15 minutes. This Japanese method firms up the flesh and gives the fish a better texture, while also seasoning it. We then make a cucumber juice and air rate it in an espuma gun. We also cube cucumber for the fresh crunch and dress it with ponzu. The dish is finished with very intense dill oil.
If you only had 20 minutes at home to cook, what would you make?
I have a fascination with Ramen. In twenty minutes I can knock together a very tasty bowl of ramen using my Achilles heel ingredient – two-minute noodles. You could easily replace the noodles with courgette or butternut noodles for a healthier option. The key ingredients will almost always be a slice of pork, spring onion, coriander, soft-boiled egg and a slice of nori. This dish is always a winner.
What’s your favourite thing to do in and around Avondale?
We love to explore Paarl and the surroundings. We often have a day outing to Wellington to taste whiskey at Bains or to Riebeek Kasteel for lunch. We also love to walk around Paarl. It is one of the most beautiful towns we have ever lived in and we are so in love with its history and beauty.
Tel: +27 (0) 21 202-1219