The winter menu at Cavalli Estate embraces the colder months with hearty ingredient-driven dishes
Since 2017, chef Michael Deg has headed up the kitchen at Cavalli Estate. His commitment to seasonality is a central tenet of his cooking style and his seasonal menus continually reflect this. Keeping the menu small also allows Deg to focus on the best of what’s available. “Embracing seasonality and local producers simply has to be the future,” says Deg. “The days of importing vegetables from overseas, out of season, have to be behind us. As chefs we should be focusing on what’s available, local and in season.”
For his winter menu this year, Deg has created an exciting and accessible four-course food-and-wine pairing menu. Expect a starter of slow-cooked octopus, fermented black garlic aioli, squid ink crisp and radish served with a Fynos dressing followed by a barley, mushroom and Parmesan custard dish. For mains diners can look forward to a confit duck leg served with orange, red-onion marmalade, mustard pommes mousseline and black kale. For dessert, the Tonka bean crème caramel palmier rounds out the menu in perfectly comforting style.
Vegetarians needn’t fear – Deg has catered beautifully to these diners with a starter of parsnip, truffle and honey velouté, a 65°C free-range egg, mushroom ragout and crispy enoki served with smoked crème fraiche. The main is a pearl-couscous risotto, dressed with red pepper, homemade almond yoghurt and pickled naartjies served with a kale crisp. “The garden is the inspiration for every plate,” says Deg.
Deg has designed the winter menu to be paired with wines from the estate, which falls under the scope of Front of House Manager and Sommelier Farai Magwada. “It’s wonderful pairing wines with Michael’s dishes,” says Magwada. “His food is so elegant, the flavours so balanced, that matching that in the wine experience is always a pleasure.”
The winter menu is available until 30 September for lunch or dinner at R350 for the 4-course menu, R425 with Cavalli wine pairing and the 4-course vegetarian menu at R300 or R375 paired with Cavalli wine.