Renowned for its eclectic approach to food which emphasizes the use of indigenous ingredients that are not always commercially available, The Table Bay’s culinary team regularly scouts Cape Town’s neighbourhoods, foraging for wild gems to add differentiating flavours dishes. Aligned with this passion for using locally sourced produce in its kitchens and true to its promise to deliver authentic South African experiences, The Table Bay also invites aspiring urban hunter gatherers on foraging expeditions that provide the opportunity to explore Cape Town’s splendid “natural outdoor market”.
These foraging expeditions take guests on an insightful searching for indigenous plants with which to experiment in the hotel’s kitchen. Depending on what is available in nature’s larder, foragers are taken on informative and scenic tours of some of Cape Town’s beautiful areas, from Rondebosch and Tamboerskloof, to Sea Point and Cape Point. Each experience is unique. They then sit down to enjoy the fruits of their harvest at The Table Bay.
The Table Bay’s Executive Sous Chef, Keshan Rambarun says: “The Western Cape boasts a diversity of eco systems and landscapes where an exciting array of native plants can be discovered to experiment with in cooking
“Our foragers, including local people, are pleasantly surprised to learn about the choice of wild plants available to them for using in their cooking. While cooking with Fynbos has gained popularity, there are countless other plants which can be picked from the wild to give character to dishes.”
For instance, edible flowers like Hibiscus blooms, with their cranberry-like flavour and citrus overtones, are used as a colourful and delightful addition to salads, while Nasturtium blossoms, with their sweet yet spicy flavour, are an ideal ingredient for open sandwiches and savoury appetisers.
Num Nums foraged from the nearby V&A Waterfront are innovatively used in a compote for the Camissa Brasserie’s seasonal dishes, while Dune Spinach, with its interesting, meaty texture and sea-flavour, foraged in Sea Point, can be used to draw out flavours in a variety of meat and fish dishes.
“Our foraging expeditions appeal to the innate hunter-gatherer instinct that resides in many of us, and provide for an interactive and enlightening platform to learn more about harnessing the fruits of our natural surroundings to be creative in the kitchen. “These experiences offer our guests an exclusive experience which is quintessentially South African,” says Keshan.
The foraging expeditions are organised for groups of about four people, subject to availability. Packages include transport from the hotel to the foraging destination, under the guidance of The Table Bay’s keen foragers.
Costs for Cape Town City Forage
Cape Town City Forage for four people is a standard R5 800 irrespective of the size of the group and an additional R1 000 per person up to a maximum of six people.
Includes a guided tour; three course lunch or dinner made with foraged goods, and wine or soft drinks with each course.