The phrase al fresco came into vogue in Italy in the mid 18th Century. Tanslated it literally means: ‘in the fresh (air)’. How delightful, especially as we head towards Summer with long lazy breakfasts, brunches and lunches enjoyed outdoors .Think delicious, fresh food using local, seasonal produce. Easy to prepare and bursting with robust flavours.
Al Fresco is lovely and light and charmingly bright. Warm Summer days and cool evenings mean family gatherings shared with friends. There are some elements you have to get right so that your guests leave feeling like they have been re-energized by a breath of fresh air and not subjected to a fiasco (more Italian - loosely translated - a complete failure).
First up is the setting. Take advantage of our beautiful weather and start spending more time outdoors on the patio, in the shade of a tree, or under a gazebo. A dining table filled with delicious food and laid for casual entertaining is just the thing for cool dining on a hot day.
The forum company would like to share their top three tips for creating a magical yet impromptu experience outdoors. Sustainability is core to the forum’s philosophy of treading lightly on our planet. So when designing your table, try to make use of items you already have. Purchase only that which is strictly essential . Next turn your attention to floral decorations. “Since al fresco literally embraces the outdoors , look at using what is growing in their gardens. You can add a dramatic touch with a couple of oversized blooms - but source the basics from your flowerbeds”.
Taking a drive outside.
If you are not up to being a domestic goddess, why not take a break and head out to Lanseria? Our restaurant, The Kitchen at L’antico Giardino ( I know even more Italian - Old Garden) offers a casual and appealing, outdoor location which personifies al fresco. What could be better than taking a leisurely drive out of Johannesburg and arriving for breakfast, brunch or lunch under the trees? This spot is kid friendly so let your little ones enjoy the freedom of being outside on their bikes whilst you peruse the latest menu offering. Delicious, fresh food, using produce that has been sourced from the area.
We asked Arno Boshoff, Executive Chef what he would select off the latest restaurant menu. We instructed him to imagine this would be his last meal on earth. As a highly experienced Chef and dedicated foodie this challenge was like making Arno walk a tightrope. For starters Arno went for the olive oil and herb focaccia served with rosemary/lemon marinated green and black olives, shaved parmesan, corn jalapeno hummus, marinated mushrooms and walnuts. We have another italian word for that: Bravo! Next up Arno selected the oven roasted Tilapia fish with peppers and tomatoes. This comes with caper potato salad, crisp asparagus and a basil pesto cream sauce. Not having a sweet tooth, the nutty cheese ball served with fresh grapes , shards & sticks and lemon lavender preserve was the perfect ending to a great lunch. Bellissimo!
Meet you in the outdoors!
Last minute year-end celebrations? Why not book your spot on one of our selective Fridays? More info and bookings here.
Kindly note The Kitchen will be closed from Saturday, 16th December 2017 and re-opening on Saturday, 20th January 2018.