Xanthos Giannakopoulos: South Africa and Slow Meat at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto

Xanthos Giannakopoulos chef at the Durban Country Club will present the Taste Workshop The South African Recipe – From Nose to Tail at the #foodforchange Slow Meat area. In this workshop, he will cook up different offal dishes to demonstrate how South African cuisine learns to use all parts of the animal.

xanthos Terra Madre

South Africa is a country with huge diversity. The blending of indigenous and various immigrant cultures has resulted in diverse foods and a vast array of dishes unique to the region. Meat is a fundamental part of South African cuisine and the country has the largest meat consumption per capita in Africa. Can you tell us something more about the tradition of meat consumption in your country?

South Africa is known as the Rainbow Nation.  Barbeques are called braai’s or saishinyama  – these are gatherings that happen regularly, we have a bank holiday called ‘Heritage’ day which is also known as National Braai day – all cuts of meat are cooked, from the chicken’s feet and beak known as walkie-talkies to whole sheep head known as a smiley.  These gatherings are celebrated throughout the country.

I think that a campaign like Slow Meat is important for raising awareness among consumers and producers. What educational role do cooks have in this context?

Since our culture already uses 90% of the carcass the educational role will highlight awareness of good, clean, fair, ethical production and consumption of indigenous meats. By increasing the yield and maximizing the use one will also benefit from the cost, which in our economy ‘every penny counts’.

In your laboratory, you will cook recipes based on offals, showing how to consume all parts of the animal is essential to reduce food waste. Is the consumption of offals widespread in South Africa? Do you have traditional recipes to cook them or do you rely more on creativity?

Yes, as mentioned SA has many dishes incorporating the ‘offals’ we also have other dishes where the large intestine is used for ‘boerewors’ which is seasoned mince meat in the casing of intestines and then braai’d.  Another example is a ‘skulpaaidjies’ this is lambs liver seasoned and stuffed in caul fat.

South AfricaWhat about the research of the ingredients in your daily work? Is it easy to find them? And how can small producers be valued in a restaurant? What percentage of local ingredients do you use and how can a chef give value to the work of small producers?

Due to the ‘Green’ initiative that is slowly gathering traction is SA, we try to source local products as far as possible.  I look within the 5-20km radius as small subsistence producers with exceptional produce. This is then noted in the menu engineering, application, mentioning the producer and region.

The theme of the Terra Madre 2018 edition is Food for Change. Do you think that through our food choices we can bring about positive change on the planet, in the environment, in society?

Yes, and as the population continues to grow, we need to educate more consumers that nose to tail consumption will assist with their needs and wants as well as safeguarding indigenous livestock from extinction due to the industrialization of commercial farming.

When and how did you meet Slow Food?

Four years ago I was introduced to Slow food by Caroline McCann.  She is a local butcher and passionate about ethical farming.  For the last 3 years, I hosted the campaigns for the Slow food events in KwaZulu Natal, which has grown year on year with both local chefs and consumers.  I am proud to associate and teach good practices.


Seared Liver, pickled butternut, pumpkin seed millet and arugula, and horseradish cream

  • Liver cleaned 3.5-4. Kg
  • Butternut 3 Kg
  • Pumpkin seeds 0.5 kg
  • Millet 1 kg
  • Arugula 1 kg
  • Horseradish 0.5 kg
  • Red Onion 1 kg
  • Garlic 1 bulb
  • Olive oil 0.5 Ltr
  • Sherry vinegar 0.5 Ltr
  • Salt
  • Cream 1 Ltr
  • Lemons 6
  • Sugar 0.25 kg
  • Flour
  1. Cut Liver into 3×3 strips, dust in flour and season
  2. Prepare butternut cleaned and trimmed slice thinly
  3. Pickling liquid
  4. Combine 250ml Vinegar 125 ml water 100 gr sugar, juice of two
    lemons, garlic and spices, heat liquid until a simmer and remove
    layer butternut in hot pickling liquid and set aside
    Grate prepared horseradish, season and combine with fresh
    cream, whip until stiff peaks form,
  5. Dry toast pumpkin seeds and prepared millet in a pan
  6. sear and cook liver in a hot pan with some olive oil
  7. mix arugula and pickled butternut, combine the millet and some seed, top
    place seared liver on salad pipe horseradish cream and garnish.


Curried Tripe Papadums, Candied Chilli and Carrot Atchara

  • Cleaned White Tripe 4.5 Kg
  • Tomato Polpa 2.3 Kg
  • Fresh Tomatoes 1 Kg
  • Onion 2 Kg
  • Ginger 0.2 Kg
  • Garlic 0.1 Kg
  • Bay leaf 5 Ea
  • Lemons 2 Ea
  • Sunflower oil 0.1 Ltr
  • Olive oil 0.1 Ltr
  • Chilli 0.25 Kg
  • Curry Masala 75 ml
  • salt
  • mustard seeds 10 gr
  • Star anise 5 gr
  • Coriander seed 5 gr
  • Fresh Coriander 0.5 Kg
  • Roast Chilli flakes 0.05 Kg
  • Carrots 2 kg
  • White vinegar 0.1 Ltr
  • Pickling Masala 50 ml
  • green cabbage 0.5 Kg
  • Popadums 40 Ea
  1. Trim Tripe, clean thoroughly and boil in salted water for 2.5 hrs.
  2. Add 3 bay leaf and 2 rough chopped onions to boiling stock of tripe
    season with black peppercorns
  3. once tripe is tender, strain rinse and set aside to cool and cut into 3×3
  4. Slice 6 onions, heat sunflower oil in a pan and add dry spice of chili flake
    mustard seed, Bay leaf, coriander, and two fresh chillis
    once tempered add, sliced onion, saute off and add curry masala.
  5. Add Prepared Tripe and braise
  6. Add garlic, ginger and two fresh chopped tomatoes, add Polpa and simmer
  7. Grate carrots finely, mix with chopped cabbage, season with pickling masala
    and white vinegar, add chopped chili and sugar.
  8. To assemble fry  Papadums, spoon Pinquant curried trip on papad, Top with Atchari.



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