What do you get when you team up one of Johannesburg’s top restauranteurs with a renowned artist and extraordinary cook in his own right?
The answer is Bocodillo – set to be the hottest pop-up restaurant in Jozi this summer and the inspired brainchild of chef Glenda Lederle and bon vivant Kevin Collins.
Bocodillo means snack or sandwich in Spanish but will translate into morsels of deliciousness served up on artistic fishy small plates created by Collins himself.
The pair love tapas, small plates of food that are served with ice-cold drinks at sunset, and so Bocodillo – which is open in Glenda’s courtyard and runs until December 17 – was born.
The menu includes chilled gazpacho; grilled sardines and calamari; layered tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette); Serrano jamon; Spanish meatballs; chorizo sausage; pork belly and slow roasted spare rib empanadas. Messages were dispatched to bring in a sweet and sour carrot pickle that was first served at the Polana Hotel in Maputo.
Pan Con Tomato will be served on holy crystal bread (famous in the sidewalk cafes in Barcelona while there will be an abundance of octopus, croquettas, patatas bravos and corn on the cob.
It will be a masterclass in deliciousness through the hole-in-the-wall kitchen so be prepared to learn while you eat.
The talented Collins has also made a unique series of exquisite small fishy plates to honour the Spanish love of fish. These one-of-a-kind ceramics will be on sale exclusively at the pop-up venue.
Says Collins: “Both Glenda and I loved the Spanish culinary philosophy. We have sourced the finest ingredients – from olive oil and peppers to roast, grill, pickle and puree to pungent smoked paprika.”
Although it’s not traditional, Bocodillo has added a sweet component to the tapas menu: a packed with flavour, cooling blood orange sorbet to finish off your evening or a Crema Catalana.
So forget loadshedding! Joburg summer is here with its legendary sultry evenings so share an after work snack and a crisp, icy glass of Cava or a jug of blood orange sangria and avoid peak hour traffic.
Bocodillo takes place in the courtyard of Glenda’s Restaurant, Hyde Square Shopping Centre at 285 Jan Smuts Avenue in Hyde Park. It is open until December 17 from Wednesday to Saturday from 4pm to 8pm. Bookings on 011 268 6369
Q&A WITH KEVIN COLLINS AND GLENDA
Kevin you are a well-known artist but tell us a bit about your love of cooking?
My love of cooking came naturally at an early age as the enjoyment of food by friends and family diminished all boundaries of class or background and certainly no celebration is complete without delicious food. I read Elizabeth David in the 1970s and at that point South Africa felt much like post-war Britain where fine dining had just discovered the ‘steak house’ and Chinese food was considered exotic. As a student, my first job working in a restaurant was for Topsie Venter, then a Swiss owned restaurant called La Pot-au-feu in Cape Town at which I learned a great deal. Some 20 years ago I met Glenda when she opened the famous Patisserie in Illovo and we worked together for the first time. I like to think of the art of food as my life!
Glenda tell us a bit about your culinary background?
I trained in some of Europe and America’s top kitchens; from The Red Rooster in New York to the acclaimed Petersham Nursery and world famous River Café in London as well as the Four Seasons Michelin starred restaurant in Berlin. After creating and nurturing the beloved Patisserie in Johannesburg’s Illovo for 10 years, I sold the establishment in 2002 and moved to start up Katerina’s restaurant at Kurland Estate outside of Plettenberg Bay. In 2015, I opened Glenda’s in Hyde Square. This year I also took over the helm at Patisserie once again.
Glenda why the decision to team up with Kevin?
We have worked closely for a long time; he helped me at the Patisserie. It’s great to have someone who I can bounce off new ideas and recipes. I love his artistry and he loves my style and we both love tapas so I couldn’t think of a better person to do this pop-up experience with.
How authentic is the tapas you are serving going to be?
Kevin: Ask 10 Spaniards that question and you’ll get 10 different answers. Some are elaborate plates full of food; others are bite-sized dishes of olives or potato chips. Some are hot; some are cold. The taste profiles we have created at Bocodillo, using local produce but faithfully following the recipes of traditional and more contemporary dishes that excited us, are true Spanish including saffron and the best Pimenton de La Vera – the famous smoky paprika.
How much research have you done when preparing the menu?
Kevin: We have both travelled to Spain and have extensively researched, read and cooked. Discovering the origins from Levantine to Ottoman influences on Spanish food, has meant we were able to include a touch of Ottolenghi and other contemporary cooks.
Why do you think tapas is special?
Glenda: Simple, seasonal and ideal for sharing at sunset – the perfect moment in the day to unwind and the perfect accompaniment for doing just that!
What is your favourite tapas on the menu?
Kevin: The lovely range of pickled items – the sweet/sour carrot pickles, the spicy beetroot slivers, the nutty marinated assorted mushroom and the best balsamic onions. These are my best.
Glenda: The sensational pork belly with its gorgeous crackling served with a salad of apple and celery and topped with a rich and spicy sriracha mayo.
What can diners expect?
Kevin: A shared fun foodie adventure which is ideal at sunset and into the warm summer evenings with a few drinks – accompanied by new and different tastes and sensations on small plates.
Anything else you would like to add?
Kevin: This is not necessarily a dinner but rather in the Mediterranean tradition pre-dinner drinks and tapa but of course if you wish to combine and share a whole range of the dishes you might not need dinner.
Glenda: Eating delicious bites outside on a glorious summer evening while sipping a cool glass of vino – you just have to give it a try. Take home one of the fun ceramics that Kevin has created as a memento of a super evening out.