SA chef caters for Lufthansa

7 November 2003

Frank Zlomke, executive chef of Bosman’s Restaurant at the five-star Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl, has become the first chef from a South African hotel to create a menu for Lufthansa German Airlines.

In November and December 2003, Lufthansa’s first and business class passengers will be able to experience traditional Cape hospitality – a mix of modern European cooking styles with South African, Cape Malay and Indian flavours.

“Selecting is one thing, adapting the menu for a world airline is another”, Zlomke said. “It’s quite a challenge, taking into consideration presentation, availability of products, height of the actual dish as well as being able to heat the dish without over-cooking it.”

Following his selection as Lufthansa’s Star Chef, the airline’s LSG Sky Chefs catering team spent time with Zlomke at Grande Roche learning the dishes, then took the recipes and methods back to Germany to practise in the airline’s huge sophisticated kitchen – which serves up to 6 000 meals a day.

Zlomke then fly to Germany to inspect the outcome and guide the airline chefs with fine-tuning the menu.

When it was served at a final preview to airline dignitaries, Reinhold Huber, Lufthansa’s vice-president for product and service management, described Zlomke’s menu choice as one of the most inspiring he had ever encountered.

Starters include spiced Tandoori-style breast of corn-fed chicken with a glass noodle salad and coriander creme fraiche, confit of salmon trout with sushi rice and wasabi, papaya salad with roasted cashew nuts and curry dressing, and tea smoked duck breast with apple compote.

The main course offers red snapper with South African spices served with a curry mousse and corn cake, parsley crusted kingklip complemented by tagliatelle and lemon butter sauce, and cherry crusted loin of Springbok, presented with polenta and pinotage jus.

The dessert choice is baked apple-brioche pudding accompanied by cinnamon sauce, cottage cheese mousse garnished with strawberries and chocolate pesto, and Cape malva cake with vanilla sauce.

German-born Zlomke, who trained at various German hotels and even had a berth on one of the world’s top cruise liners, has worked at gourmet restaurants and exclusive hotels in San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore before joining the Grande Roche when it opened in 1992.

In 1996 he was appointed executive head chef of the hotel. Since then he has been instrumental in placing Bosman’s Restaurant on the culinary map. Food writer Lannice Snyman named it one of the Editor’s Top Ten Restaurants in her Eat Out publication for five consecutive years.

She also singled Zlomke out for being “one of a few seasoned cuisiniers who have proved that consistency and creativity are an awesome combination. His creative, epicurean menus please the most pampered of local and international palates, while artfully paying homage to African culinary idioms.

“Zlomke adds fresh ideas to unusual flavour combinations based on classic traditions and stunning seasonal menus, using the Cape’s best ingredients.”

Bosman’s has four times been the only restaurant to attain five stars for its wine list in Wine magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants. It also received a five-star rating for its food and ambience, and was the only restaurant to attain full marks for all categories in the 2004 guide.

It has three times won the Business Day South African Restaurant of the Year Award, and was described as “an icon that lives up to its international reputation”.

Bosman’s was also the only South African restaurant to make the Top Ten in the World listings in the Malaysian newspaper, the New Straits Times, and is still the only Relais & Chateaux member on the African continent with Relais Gourmands status.

Source: Lufthansa