(Georgia East. PHOTO: Marisa Crous)
I met writer and photographer, Georgia East, author of the cookbook, West Coast Wander (R300) a few months ago on a day trip to Riebeek Kasteel.
We bonded over a shared love for anchovies. And bokkom butter. Salty as can be, the thought of dried fish mixed in with real butter and spread on toast always makes me salivate.
Mediterranean food, is my kind of food.
Georgia's cookbook is the ultimate love letter to the West Coast, its artisans, locals and especially the seafood caught and cooked along this glorious coastline.
Her recipes twist traditional dishes, tweaking them in a modern and quirky ways that has the palette perked as you page through this cookbook.
Dishes like spekboom tzatziki - a side I'm dying to make - gets your attention, along with the inclusion of foraged ingredients like dune sage in many dishes.
She includes the voices of local bucherettes, bakers and winemakers, taking you on a culinary journey like very few other cookbooks do. It's storytelling. The place and people create a very fine-tuned type of nostalgia which perfectly complements each dish.
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"Seeking out the best place to buy bread in Hopefield, discovering what sets a Sandveld Sauvignon Blanc apart and learning how the plumpest oysters in the country are farmed in Saldanha Bay are just a few of the topics covered," says East.
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Perfectly fitting for the occasion, we headed out to Saldanha Bay to celebrate the launch of her book, and to eat the oysters, bokkom butter on fresh seaweed-infused sourdough bread, angelfish and mussels cultivated and naturally occurring in the area.
On this special day, she left the cooking for someone else to do.
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