It wasn’t too long ago that Evan Coosner was asked to consult for Open door, Burrata and Bocca.
Under the ownership of Neil Grant, one of South Africa’s finest wine experts and restaurateurs, the three restaurants are renowned for their purposeful wine selection and delectable Italian-inspired menus.
But, as things happen, the opportunity quickly changed from consultant to executive chef and, well, the rest is history.
But we wanted to get to know just who Coosner is, and how he changed up Open Door's menu:
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I was 16 and was job shadowing at hotel. I watched this chef testing the temperatures of the meat. He could tell just by touching the meat if it if was medium, or well done, or rare. I knew wanted to do that.
Three words to describe you…
Outspoken, creative, empathetic.
What can diners look forward to this summer at Open Door?
The food is a lot more fun, though not necessarily less technical. Think fresh flavours with a unique twist. Like the Southern Fried Quail, which is a play on takeaway fried chicken; we serve it with sweetcorn and mint yoghurt salad with an Indonesian glaze.
Any new technique you’re working on?
The biggest thing we work on is cooking… I’m not big on things like molecular gastronomy; the ingredient needs to speak for itself. A good example of this is Cauliflower Cheese, which we use cauliflower in a number of ways: cauliflower and Parmesan polenta ball, roasted cauliflower spuma, pickled cauliflower and pine nut dressing…Or the White Onion Risotto, which is a play on textures in the onion family with leek ash and crème fraiche.
Wine of the moment?
I’m quite enjoying Pinot Noir at the moment, they’re actually quite good summer wines!
On your off days you…
I spend time with girlfriend, we love to eat out, and I try sneak in a surf. Let’s put it this way my girlfriend wishes we would go hiking, but I like to relax as I know I have another week of work ahead of me.