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Africola: Slow food fast words cult chef

Duncan Welgemoed

World-renowned South-African born chef Duncan Welgemoed takes us on a brash, bold and boozy journey of culinary delight, drawing inspiration from his internationally acclaimed restaurant Africola.

Duncan's approach to food is fearless, take-no-prisoners, daring and exciting. Inspired by his South African heritage, Duncan has created a cookbook which encompasses the rich and varied flavours of his childhood. At the tender age of 21, Duncan was working as head chef at The Goose at Britwell Salome, Oxford, when it was awarded a Michelin star. Since then, his career has skyrocketed, from working at the world-renowned Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons to conquering the whole of France in the words of Marco Pierre White, before becoming the most famous chef in the entire world .

Stepping out of limelight and retreating from the world of Michelin, Duncan moved to Adelaide, Australia, where he set up his restaurant Africola. His food is cooked on fire, in embers or ashes, in ovens, or cast-iron pots - from whole smoked pig South African/Australian style, to homemade biltong, hot smoked mackerel and horseradish, whole roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce, and the world's greatest roast potato recipe for complete idiots.

The food is all about using sustainably sourced, low-impact-on-the-earth ingredients (carefully sourced meats, fish, vegetables, grains, pulses, seaweed, algae, shellfish) to create dishes that have big, powerful flavours, are punchy, bold, butch and that 'open another box in your palate and in your mind'. There is a slew of intensely flavourful, veg-forward dishes, a culinary encyclopaedia of ferments, condiments and pickles along with a solid pastry section and a bunch of ridiculous cocktails.

With a soundtrack to accompany the food, the recipes include:

  • Peri peri chicken
  • Roast rib of beef with pap (polenta)
  • Wood-roasted sardines with poached plums
  • Charcoal prawns with preserved pumpkin
  • Kingfish muamba (crudo) with pickled kohlrabi
  • Firepit sausages
  • Caramelised corn kernels with white chocolate and hazelnuts


South African by birth, Duncan was head chef at The Goose at Britwell Salome, Watlington, Oxford when it was awarded a Michelin star in 2005 and has also worked at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. In early 2010, he arrived in South Australia and opened Africola in 2014. Over the years, Duncan has become Adelaide's (un)official spirit animal - mythical beast, troublemaker, conversation starter. His latest restaurant, Africola, tells a story close to his heart. It has since been awarded 4.5/5 Australians by The Australian's food editor John Lethlean, featured in countless magazines, newspapers and TV shows around the world and frequented by rockstars and celebrities alike. Business partner, James Brown, runs a design agency and has designed the interiors of several iconic venues including Sydney's Harpoon Harry, Bali's Motel Mexicola (the most instagrammed hotel in the world) and Melbourne's Hotel Jesus. Together, they are a formidable creative force.

Category:  Food & Drink
ISBN:  9781760634643
Publisher:  Murdoch Books
On sale:  December 2020
Format:  Hardback
eBook ISBN 
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