Thank you, Chris
Dear Chef Chris Erasmus, thank you for all you have done for us at The Small. Thank you for instilling a culture of foraging for endemic ingredients and for the mentorship to our team. We bid you a warm farewell and we can't wait to see what you do next! Chef Chris is off to pursue an exciting new project, we catch up with him, and as a parting gift he shares the most delicious recipe for 'roasted pork belly with pickled basil millet, radish and carrots', just perfect for autumn.
A favourite memory from your time with us?
Seeing Simba’s face when the BBQ arrived after I had it rebuilt. It was a whole new dynamic of cooking for the chefs and they all fell in love with it!
Foraging in Robertson, the highlights?
Meeting the local farmers and walking their land with them, exploring. A highlight was spending time with Ernst Bruwer from Mont Blois and his kids walking the farm with me for a day, it was equally amazing for all of us.
Any thoughts on Robertson itself?
For me it was the transformation of sweet wine country as I remembered it as a child to world class wine making regions. The wines were the highlight for me. Awesome and still very affordable wines from honest winemakers.
Favourite dish you implemented on the menu?
The BBQ beef brisket. It’s there to stay… a secret, the recipe is between myself and Simba.
What's next for Chris Erasmus?
Watch this space!
A message to The Small's chefs?
You know what to do… taste, adapt, perfect.
Recipe: Roasted pork belly with pickled basil millet, radish and carrots
Preheat oven to 220°C
Score and salt the skin of the pork belly, wait 15 minutes and wipe dry, salt again and repeat.
Place the belly on a bed of chopped carrots, onions and garlic and roast for 40 minutes until the skin crackles.
Rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
Place the millet in a saucepan and add double the water, season with salt and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, drain off excess water.
200g Basil leaves
100ml apple cider vinegar
100ml sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt
• place all in a blender and puree, fold into the millet.
To serve: garnish with sliced radishes, radish leaves and roasted baby carrots