Even when you’re a top chef, sometimes only mac n cheese will do
We chat about cuisine and an industry under lockdown with Graham Neilson, executive chef at 9th Avenue Waterside
Best food memories? There are a few. When I was older, eating home-grown baby artichokes at La Lampara in the KZN Midlands and pigeon at the original Harvey’s in Durban, by Andrew Draper. As a boy, my gran’s mac ’n’ cheese, battered hot dogs at the Beef ’n’ Barrel in La Lucia Mall and cheese and bacon burgers from Longhorn.
Food icon? I admire too many people in this industry, especially the longer I’ve stayed in it, to pick just one. During this lockdown it has been eye-opening to see just how fragile this industry is. When you see titans of the restaurant industry not sure if they will have their restaurants back, it really gives you a sense of perspective.
Best dish to cook and to eat? To cook, I love pan-roasting fish in the restaurant. Finishing it with foaming butter and getting it just right still gives me a thrill. To eat, it’s still macaroni cheese...