Enhancing the French flavours at Chez Patrick
Dewald Hurter, the new chef at Chez Patrick is a lover of French food, having been trained in French haute cuisine. So he was thrilled to have been offered the position at this delightful French restaurant at the Port.
He sees this tenure as being able to do what he personally loves – working with food.,. real flavoured food with rich French sauces. Dewald says he loves to braise meat with spices and fennel then allowing these flavours to penetrate the dishes.
His specialities are Beef Fillet with Snail Crust and Confît of Pork Belly. For the latter he uses pork belly cooked and served with braised carrots Robert – “simply delicious”, he says.
On his background Dewald says he hails from Port Elizabeth. He left for the Western Cape to pursue his training as a chef at the Culinary Academy in Cape Town. His first stint was at the Buitenverwachting Wine Estate where he was trained in French haute cuisine. This early experience instilled in him his great love of French cuisine.
The next opportunity that came his way was to work in Greenside Johannesburg at the Scusi Italian restaurant. But then the coast called him back and he joined Madison on First in Port Elizabeth before taking up a position at Prana Lodge in East London.
His most recent job was at the Val de Vie Wine and Polo Estate in Paarl where he was executive chef of the Polo Club restaurant and banqueting venue.
While at the Val de Vie he was fortunate, he says, to have cooked for several celebrities, to prepare the menu for JP Duminy’s wedding last year among others. He also cooked for Mariah Carey and the SA Cricket team plus for a Shaik form Dubai.
He has been dying to get back to Port Elizabeth where he and his wife, Lisa and their two daughters have family and friends. As for his ideas for Chez Patrick he has already implemented some by revamping the restaurant’s menu. It is now more compact, he says and each dish allows for the use of fresher ingredients, plus the menu is adaptable.
His other exciting ideas include a High Tea every Wednesday afternoon for the women folk of St Francis, for them to have a great afternoon with friends while the men play golf. And the fare is fantastic – I have tried it out
Then everyone who dines at Chez Patrick – be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner – stands a chance to win a dinner party with the meal prepared and cooked in the comfort on one’s own home. He invites everyone to meet him and to sample his French platters. He says he serves not only fine dining but plainer dishes and family favourites as well.
Dewald’s first test for lovers of fine dining in St Francis Bay was the mammoth Titanic commemorative dinner held last month. He served 10 beautifully prepared and perfectly cooked courses – and the diners were ecstatic, singing his praises –not least this Editor, and an extremely fussy vegetarian. The quality of the dishes (I just loved the salmon) was worth the priceI of my ticket. Though most were smaller portions à la nouveau cuisine style, they were extremely rich and satiating …A sample of some of his creations are pictured here.
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