Page 32 - CemAir SkyNews 02/16-03/16
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South African Soul Food, one plate at a time

One cannot assess the merits                iconic sandwiches. Having grown                  Above: Karen in her element.
          of this landmark soul-food        up in the US and experiencing Po’           (Photo from
          institution by its size and curb  Boys, Muffuletas, Philadelphia
appeal. It is small, outside you may        Steak sandwiches and Submarine                    Right: The Love Sandwhich.
find two tables each with a set of          sandwiches, I consider myself
mismatched chairs. Step inside and          somewhat of a sandwich guru. What I      The handwritten black board menu
you may still have doubts, the décor        experienced at The Kitchen was truly          brings across the relaxed vibe.
takes you back to your granny’s             a work of genius. These yummy Love
kitchen – an eclectic mix of odds and       Sandwiches on artisanal breads with                            Pasties to die for!
ends, old postcards, chipped jars and       different pestos, choice meats, farm
brightly coloured ceramics and even         fresh cheeses and tasty dressings
mix-matched plates and cutlery.             are a tempting treat not to be missed.
What you will soon discover, though,        Combined with beautiful, fresh
is some serious down-home cooking.          salads like creamy Quinoa, Moroccan
That’s why folks line up for a taste        Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes,
of owner Karen Dudley’s mix of              Curried Lentils with Roasted Peppers
“Soul Food” specialties. Customers          and Harissa Chick Peas with Red
arrive in waves on Sir Lowry Road in        Onion – slow down!
Woodstock, in the heart of the Mother       I shared my salad plate with my
City of Cape Town. This little nook is      husband, and couldn’t resist sharing
tucked away in the industrial section,      his sandwich. It was an amazing
surrounded by creative folks working        creation of freshly baked Ciabatta
at advertising agencies, printers, and      Roll, Pulled Pork, Pickled Cucumber
art and décor shops. Really.                and Onion, slow Roasted Tomatoes,
They’ve got it all going on, soul-food-     Avocado, creamed Goat’s Cheese,
wise. Karen knew serving standard           Lettuce, Pesto and an amazing
essentials wouldn’t be enough. Most         creamy, garlicky dressing. D-E-V-I-
importantly, she knew her main              N-E!
dishes would need to be reflective of       In a previous interview, Karen says
her heritage and should incorporate         “when I ran my catering company
traditional recipes with a soul-food        from home, there were always people
twist. She also knew that both she          dropping in. Friends, suppliers, family
and her staff would need to hand-           and clients collecting their dinner
make just about every item that is          party food. Often, people would linger
served across her counter. The hard         to watch and chat, sometimes even to
work has paid off, at The Kitchen           participate. Because it was a working
you feel you have come home. Large          kitchen. We were in the process
groups of people eating together,           of creating something delicious,
sharing tasty and colourful food. You       something good.” I was fortunate
want to share, you want to come             to have experienced Karen’s Love
back…time and time again.                   Sandwich first-hand, on another
It really is that good.                     occasion at the Plett Food Film
I wasn’t really sure what to expect,        Festival where she prepared delicious
but when I walked through the front         food for film-goers. I asked her what
door I knew I was in for a treat. My        made her sandwiches so special.
tastebuds were awakened; I was              She replied, “Love… I love all of the
immediately enveloped by all these          ingredients I put in every sandwich.
amazing smells and bright colours.          Although they may be different at
Freshly baked bread, pesto, smells of       times, I treat that sandwich with
curry and spices, beautiful salads and      loving care because it always goes to
the intrigue of “The Love Sandwich”.        someone very special.”
I’m very familiar with amazing              You really have to try it for yourself!

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