Saturday, July 13, 2013

Back Chat Interviews An Emerging Talent




Eugene and I recently tasted some stunning South African food at a house party. Standing proudly and fragrantly on the buffet table was a smoked snoek bobotie. Oh my goodness, it was fantastic!!  Served with divine chutney and delicious sambals, the guests cleared the platter.  An unctuous bread and butter pudding on the dessert buffet and the guests once again forgot their manners and tore into it.  Who had made this seemingly simple food into so much more than a 'bord kos'?  These dishes were certainly not part of our hostess' repertoire. I had to know more.




I discovered that the creator of these delights was a young chef, Juan Pierre Hugo, known to his clients as "JP".  I interviewed him at the lovely home in Hout Bay that he shares with his life partner, Nicholas Whitehorn and Joshua, their adopted son.  Oh yes, and 2 Rottweilers, 3 Dachshunds, 2 exotic and chatty parrots and cages of miniature doves and finches.  


But first I had to explore this beautiful home of wood and stone and glass.  Heavy wooden dining and coffee tables, Persian carpets on old stone floors and display cases that are crammed with Egyptian artefacts.  The walls and surfaces are covered with art and objets, while gazing through floor-to-ceiling glass doors, one has a view of a beautifully landscaped garden and the spectacular views beyond.