I recently spoke to Nanda Cardoso, Head Chef at Chefs Warehouse and Canteen in the heart of Cape Town. Situated in a lovely old Georgian House on Riebeek Square this popular restaurant is the brainchild of Liam and Jan Tomlin.
Here is my 5 minutes with Nanda…
Where did you train as a chef?
I trained at Cape Town Hotel School
What do you like to eat most?
Being a Chef and surrounded by various foods everyday all day, there is no bigger treat than your Mom’s food.
What’s your least Favourite Food?
Offal, especially tripe
Do you have a childhood, Mom or Gran food memory?
Yes, as a child over weekends I often slept over at my grandparents and we would wake up early on a Saturday morning and make biltong. Growing up in an Afrikaans family Sunday lunches (especially for special occasions) were also very special and how us ladies would team up to contribute to a delicious meal.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up and procrastinate getting out of bed by giving my dog her much loved scratches. I have my first cup of coffee in my car on the way to work. Once I get to work, I enjoy a second cup while placing my final orders and tweaking the menu. As a team we then sit down and discuss the menu for the day and jobs that can be done in advance, we then proceed to “crack on” this is usually latest by 7.45am.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
Majority definitely comes from reading recipe books and implementing it into what produce I have available and suits what I enjoy cooking.
What’s your Favourite Dish you are cooking now?
I wouldn’t say that I have a favourite dish but at the moment I am enjoying teriyaki (If I would do a chicken teriyaki I would roast the carcass bones and use that in the marinade of the base, the same for fish that I would do teriyaki) and carrying out the cooking process on Schichirin grills.
Favourite Cooking Tools?
Without a doubt a sharp knife, a mandolin, a spoon for tasting and a spatula (because waste-not)
What is your ideal neighbourhood eatery?
Hesheng in Sea Point
Always in your fridge at home?
Milk, Onion, Garlic, BUTTER and a sweet treat
Name 6 food items you would take to a Desert Island.
This is difficult as a Chef I’m just thinking “what will keep with no fridge”
Salt, Rice, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Biltong and a water filter (if that counts)
What is your Desert-Island Disc?
Crystal Lion by Native Young
Your most Underrated Wine?
Not the biggest wine drinker but I do enjoy local Bubbles as whenever people think of having a glass of bubbles they immediately think of France and disregard that South Africa produces some really great bubbles too.
Your craziest Wine or Food or Equipment Purchase?
Lots and lots of Gin.
Saturday night after service tipple?
We call it “beers for the boys” but I pass on the beer and have a G&T
Who is your Music Man/woman?
Loud tables and slow service
Your key wardrobe Item?
Pyjamas and slippers
Talent you would like to have?
To be able to play as many instruments
Bees in your Bonnet?
At the moment The Noma Guide to Fermentation
Fictional Character with whom you identify?
One guest for dinner – who would that be?
Routine after lunch or dinner service?
After dinner would be finishing off the menu for the following day and starting of the menu for the day after and placing orders according to that.
I’m currently working on….
Many new ideas for different dishes!
My favourite weekend getaway is….
A late sleep in over weekends
One day, I will….
Own my own restaurant
How do guests contact Chefs Warehouse & Canteen?
Telephone 021 4220128