Surviving the kitchens of Gordon Ramsay is enough of an accomplishment for any up-and-coming chef to achieve legendary status. But for Duncan Welgemoed, that was just the beginning.
With a mastery of smoke and fire cooking, Duncans South African heritage has played a huge role in his culinary style.
Embarking on his journey toward chef-hood out of a need for cash, Duncan has since mastered the art to become one of Adelaides leading chefs.
With his restaurant Africola, Duncan has, and is continuing, to explore the diverse cuisines throughout the African continent.
It was after watching the film Rumble in the Jungle starring Mohammed Ali and George Foreman, Duncan and his fellow co-owner and Mash Design director James Brown were inspired to commence the journey towards Africola.
Opening in 2014, Africola was originally a restaurant of South African offerings: from their mainstay braai, to slow-cooked cows head (hows that for nose-to-tail eating). But in 2016, Africola flipped their offerings to North African cuisines.
Explaining that every two years he flips the offerings of his African restaurant, the next offering in line will presumably be West African cuisines in 2018, followed by East African in 2020.
But he didnt always dream of becoming a chef.
Duncan commenced his chef journey accidentally, after spending all his travel money in a strip club in England, just 6 hours into his European travels. Finding a job almost immediately in a local French restaurant La Bouche, Duncan soon took to the fry pan much like his brother, who is also a chef.
Since shifting from their South African-inspired menu which was very protein-based, Duncans North African menu is very much focussed on vegetables and grains.
Recently making the media criticising the South Australian governments tariffs on collecting seaweed for commercial use, Duncans dishes include the use of seaweed, whether fresh, cooked or dehydrated.
With unique dishes including carrot and mussel fish with kelp-infused sauce, his North African menu contains influences from Greece, Sardinia and the Middle East.
So, for the freshest ingredients and a menu with a difference, head on down to Africola!
Address: 4 East Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8223 3885
Photo via Good Food Month