It’s almost that time of year again – when the premium menu of Shimmy Beach Club sheds its winter dishes for a fresh and delectable summer menu. While the dishes haven’t launched yet, Shimmy will be hosting a private tasting, and guess who’s invited? Yours truly of course!
We decided to catch up with the taste-master and executive chef of Shimmy Beach Club – Adrian Cook ahead of the launch to chat early beginnings, his summer menu inspiration and more…
MCBN: We are super excited to try your new menu this coming Friday, but before we get into all the yummy details, tell us a bit more about yourself – where did you grow up and how long have you been with the Shimmy family?
COOK: Goodwood, behind the boerewors curtain…I have been with Shimmy since 2013.
MCBN: We’ve heard you’ve seen your fair share of the world; tell us more about your strongest international influences and how they shine through with your dishes?
COOK: I have travelled to many places, but my favourite country and food are Italian. The menu remains Mediterranean inspired, with Asian and Hawaiian influences. An all-round cosmopolitan style menu for a cosmopolitan city
MCBN: Tell us more about your culinary journey growing up. How did you explore food and what were your favourite dishes?
COOK: I grew up, around my grandmother cooking traditional English meals, and the most amazing desserts. My dad taught me from a very young age, how to clean fish, calamari, how to cook proteins and how to work venison after a hunt. Food is one of the most important things in our family, we love to eat and experiment.
MCBN: What kind of seasonal foods do you enjoy most – what can we see you eating from winter to summer?
COOK: Winter is hearty stews and soups and in summer, light pasta and salads, along with a good dose of seafood.
MCBN: Let’s talk more about your inspiration behind Shimmy’s new summer menu? What kind of flavours can we expect to revel in and what makes these dishes perfect for summer dining?
COOK: I think there is a heavy Mediterranean look and feel, as well as taste. We have taken simple snack items like samosas for the pool deck, along with poke bowls, salads and sushi for nice warm summer evenings, to go with a glass of chilled wine.
MCBN: What’s your favourite dish on the new summer menu?
COOK: The Heirloom tomato salad with Parma ham, melon and mozzarella, and the fishcakes are firm favourite of mine
MCBN: Describe Shimmy’s new menu in 3 words.
COOK: Fresh, light and healthy!
MCBN: Any local eateries, trucks, and restaurants you particularly enjoy in Cape Town when you are not cooking up a gourmet storm? If so, tell us which ones and why?
COOK: Arugula is a great dining experience, and the chefs are hands-on with great service. Signal Gun is a great family spot, with good wine, craft beer and a chilled vibe where the kids can play in a safe and relaxed atmosphere.
MCBN: Lastly, what’s the one thing you wish diners/ patrons knew but don’t, about your profession?
COOK: I wish they knew that we are always trying to meet their expectations, but at times we do falter and we would appreciate the guest to offer advice or complain up front to the manager when there is an issue. I think it’s always best to deal with the problem straight away, rather than reverting to social media portals to vent about a poor dining experience.
One thing’s for sure, our expectations have always been met by the Shimmy Beach Club family and we are delighted to be trying their secret new summer menu this weekend. Keep your eyes glued to our page for an upcoming inside scoop!