Q & A with Chef Adrian Cook
Where did the inspiration come from for the Winter Menu
The inspiration came from Italy, with its simplistic ingredients and cooking techniques, in order to give that fantastically complex and rich flavour.
How is the Winter Menu different from the Summer Menu?
The Winter Menu concentrates on warm, earthy tones and is designed to be comfort food – which in essence is food that nourishes the soul, makes you smile and have a glass of red wine. The Summer Menu was focused on fresh, vibrant and fun items, with a large array of fresh produce in season.
Are there any challenges with creating a seasonal menu?
Luckily for us, South Africa is rich in amazing produce, with great farmers that care and produce ethical foods. So the only challenge is to come up with interesting ways to use all this great supply.
Does Shimmy use ethically sourced products?
Shimmy uses SASSI approved seafood guidelines, free range beef and chicken as well as traceable produce as much as possible, dependent on season and availability.
What is your favourite dish listed on the Winter Menu?
I would have to say the Duck Confit, because of the cooking techniques as well as the flavours and plating. It's a warm and earthy meal that pays respect to the produce.
These recipes look very complicated, what is your process for finding the right complement of ingredients to create the perfect dish?
The perfect dish does not exist, all we can do is dream about the food, play around with our ideas in the kitchen. We can only strive for perfection by putting ourselves on a plate and hope that it is loved by the customer as much as it was by you.
Who are your culinary influences and mentors?
My Ouma and my Dad have been inspirational with my love for food and cooking. My Ouma with her amazing desserts; and my dad with teaching me a million ways to use seafood and to waste nothing. On a professional level, Gareth Schneider , Craig Cormack and Shaune Hall were all a huge part of defining me as a chef and a person.
There are some Banting items on the menu, are you a fan of this way of eating?
I would prefer to say that we cater for gluten intolerant and sugar free guests that can't eat the pizza and sushi afforded to others. For example my wife loves sushi, but had to stop eating it due to the starch content. However, now we use "cauliflower" rice instead.
We are able to accommodate everyone and should evolve along with the healthy options.
Who is on your ‘wow’ list of high profile people you have cooked for at Shimmy?
Off the top of my head Floyd May-weather, Sir Richard Branson, Kevin Spacey and Dolph Lundgren.
What advice would you give young aspiring chefs?
Put in the time and effort; steal with your eyes; and don't let anyone tell you it's impossible!
Dedication and perseverance is required, and if you can do that, you will have what very few people achieve in life, a job that you love going to every morning you wake up.
And a cheeky last question to put you on the spot - If you were given these 3 ingredients, what would you make? condensed milk, kale and viennas
A large pot of trouble.... Or a smoked and grilled Vienna with Kale chips and the condensed milk can be boiled and use as dessert.
Cape Town Harbour
12 South Arm Road
V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Monday - Sunday: 11:00 - 23:00
Best for After Work Drinks in Western Cape
Best for Romantic Dates in Western Cape
Best for Healthy Food in City Bowl
Best for Pizza in City Bowl
Best for Scenic Views in City Bowl
Best for Sundowners in City Bowl
Best for Burgers in Waterfront
Great for Cocktails in Waterfront
Great for Families with Kids in Waterfront
Great for Steak in Waterfront
Great for Sushi in Waterfront