Author(s): Duncan Welgemoed; James Brown
Ottolenghi on steroids, with a sense of humour and a bit of a Kitchen Confidential vibe - it's brash, bold, boozy and it roars. Duncan Welgemoed's food is exciting some of the most exacting palates. He cooks African-inspired vegetables, grilled and smoked meats, flatbreads, pickles, ferments, vegan-inspired desserts and serves cocktails and natural wine. The food and the experience he recreates links directly back to his South African birthplace, Johannesburg. The food is all about using sustainably sourced, low -impact-on-the-earth ingredients (carefully sourced meats, fish, vegetables, grains, pulses, seaweed, algae, shellfish) to create dishes that have big, powerful flavours, are punchy, bold, butch and that 'open another box in your palate and in your mind'. The range of recipes covers vegetarian and vegan; full-on South African meat dishes cooked on fire, in embers and ashes, in ovens and cast iron pots; ferments, dips, pickles and sauces that are good for the gut and good on the palate; South African inspired vegan desserts. Expect to find recipes for peri peri chicken; roast rib of beef with pap (polenta); wood-roasted sardines with poached plums; charcoal prawns with preserved pumpkin; kingfish muamba (crudo) with pickled kohlrabi; prawns grilled with kombu butter; firepit sausages; squid with seaweed tapenade; bush meats (charcuterie) with smoked oysters; boom chakalakka (radicchio-based kimchi pickles); caramelised corn kernels with white chocolate and hazelnuts - and a soundtrack to accompany the food.
South African by birth, Duncan was head chef at The Goose at Britwell Salome, Watlington, Oxford when it was awarded a Michelin star in 2005 and has also worked at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. In early 2010, he arrived in South Australia and opened Africola in 2014. Over the years, Duncan has become Adelaide's (un)official spirit animal - mythical beast, troublemaker, conversation starter. His latest restaurant, Africola, tells a story close to his heart. It has since been awarded 4.5/5 Australians by The Australian's food editor John Lethlean, featured in countless magazines, newspapers and TV shows around the world and frequented by rockstars and celebrities alike. Business partner, James Brown, runs a design agency and has designed the interiors of several iconic venues including Sydney's Harpoon Harry, Bali's Motel Mexicola (the most instagrammed hotel in the world) and Melbourne's Hotel Jesus. Together, they are a formidable creative force.