Fresh from her culinary quest in Barcelona and London, Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin has added exciting twists to her summer fare at Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg in Constantia. Known for uncomplicated bistro-style food and tapas that are flavourful and burst with freshness, Chef Kerry’s travel experiences led her to find new inspiration and authentic ingredients.

Chef Kerry visited 13 restaurants in Barcelona in four days. ‘My favourite highlight was dining at a tiny chairless tapas bar, Quimet & Quimet, and the equally quaint, Cal Pep. Tasting my way through the famous La Boqueria Food Market was another highlight, but my biggest triumph must be getting a seat at Tickets,’ she says. She also waited on the pavement outside the trendy tapas bar and restaurant of brothers Albert and Ferran Adriá, Chef du Patron at the world renowned El Bulli, for nearly four hours.

Humble bread, rubbed with fresh tomato and soaked in olive oil is a staple tapas everywhere, while the Catalan take on bruschetta is toasted bread with olive oil and a variety of toppings.

‘Besides scallops, clams and mussels, I fell in love with razor clams – more commonly known in South Africa as pencil bait. Used as bait by fishermen in the Southern Cape, it’s a pity razor clams are hardly eaten here, as they are absolutely delicious,’ adds Chef Kerry, ‘I’d love to serve them if there was a sustainable local supply.’

‘The wonderful smoked, earthy character of truffle honey captures all the tastes and aromas of a typical tapas bar filled with whiffs of mature serrano hams hanging from the rafters. It’s an amazing product,’ says Chef Kerry who makes her own by infusing local honey with truffle oil, featuring in dishes such as the smoked Salmon Nori and Asparagus Terrine, and don’t be surprised to see it drizzled on salads, cheese or yoghurt. Her play with oriental flavours also takes a bow in the Seared Beef Tataki with shemeji mushrooms, charred corn chillies and truffle mayo.

Barcelona’s flavour stimulations continue in a dish of marinated bell peppers with white anchovies and quail eggs. Chef Kerry has tweaked Smoked Pork with manchego croquetas by adding her signature dollop of creamy wholegrain mustard mayo. The Spanish staple – olive tapenade – stakes its claim on the new menu with Pulled Lamb Shoulder and chilli tomato on a bed of polenta.

Influences from markets and top eateries in London, including Marcus Wareing’s Michelin starred, The Berkley, is evident in the Roast Pork Belly with apple and fennel doused in a cider jus; as it is in the Grilled Fish with smoked cauliflower purée and
hazelnut butter.

Steenberg Estate, Steenberg Road, Tokai, Constantia Valley, Cape Town. Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and late afternoon tapas.