Sunday, June 12, 2011

Designer lunch

The Cape Town area there has seen a veritable explosion of innovative lunch venues over the last few years. Lunch time options for those who work on the edges of the City Bowl have increased significantly. Several delis and cafes have opened their doors and it is evident from the creativity and standard of the food on offer that the chefs involved are passionate about cooking.

Cookshop is one of these, tucked away on the bustling thoroughfare of Hatfield Street. Cookshop is owned & run by foodie enthusiast duo Ammy & Tom. Both have a long history in the restaurant industry and have merged their different strengths. Tom runs front of house and makes one of the meanest cups of coffee in Cape Town. Whilst Ammy conjures up the daily menu & directs the other cooks to help produce all the fare on offer.

Cookshop is well known for their hearty designer sandwiches, which combine an array of flavours; The Serious Gourmet (meatloaf, rosemary & almond mayo, brandy prune and rocket), The Italian Job (salami, cream cheese, tomato & rocket) and The Mighty Chook, the most popular sandwich (free range roast chicken with coriander, chilli, almond mayo and cucumber).
Ammy says that the key to a great sandwich is the freshness and quality of the bread, fresh ingredients and balancing three flavours. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine are her major inspirations. She is obsessed with spices and fresh herbs.
What sets Cookshop’s designer sandwiches apart from the rest, is the fact that they make all their own sandwich ingredients and their spreads are unique. Proof of Ammy’s creative flair is clearly evident in the Cookshop’s menu and was evident when she discussed her spreads ‘Why does mayonnaise have to be ordinary when you can make it extraordinary?’
The food philosophy at Cookshop is simple, fresh and wholesome combined with big, bold flavours.

Situated in Woodstock, The Kitchen, Superette and The deli have similar offerings to Cookshop; honest food, full of flavour but each offering something unique such as The Deli’s apple and fudge cake and The Kitchen’s array of colourful salads.
What these places have most in common is that they combine unusual flavours, creating something delicious, taking food to an art form. Julia Child described this creative aspect of cooking when she said, “Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.” 

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