Luxury meets sustainability in the Kitchen – Willoughbys and Co.
May 15, 2017
One of Johannesburg’s finest purveyors of seafood strives to educate customers about the trade and sustainable seafood practises. “Seafood is an intricate and delicate art, and I am passionate about educating customers on the simple, elegant and natural flavours of great seafood.”- Brett Whitehouse Willoughby & Co, set in the heart of the city, is one of Johannesburg’s much loved seafood locations. Purveyors of fine seafood, owner Brett Whitehouse and his dynamic team are passionate about seafood and how it is served.
Willoughby & Co showcases quality ingredients, natural flavours and humble yet elegant dishes. Their philosophy is simple, to use the best ingredients, cook seafood simply and serve it the right way in a relaxed, friendly environment i.e. providing an outstanding seafood experience for customers by staying true to the ingredients.
These days, most seafood comes served with overpowering sauces and condiments, which tend to hide the authentic and delicious natural flavours of the fish. According to Brett Whitehouse, the preservation and preparation of the fish, one of the last wild food sources available for consumption, is key to genuine and fantastic tasting seafood. Brett says, “There is so much more to seafood than one realises. Seafood is very delicate and therefore should be treated with care. We want to change peoples’ perception of seafood and how it should be served. Therefore, education is vital. Seafood is an intricate art and we strive to showcase simple, genuine and authentic seafood dishes to our customers. There really is no need to ‘cover’ seafood with sauces and condiments if it has been prepared correctly. This applies to sushi as well. Sushi has become very westernised, with way too many sauces and toppings.”
Brett also believes that there is this misconception that the coast is the only place to get the freshest fish and he wants to bust this myth. “Most people are not aware that Johannesburg has some of the finest fish in the country. People are scared to visit a seafood restaurant in Gauteng because they are worried about how far the fish has had to travel to get inland. As seafood experts, we look after our fish. We get them whole, fillet and prep them ourselves, get them on the grill, on the plate and then straight to you. Fish cannot be overcooked.” Brett and his team have taken seafood back to old and traditional ways. For them, it is not about buying fish in bulk to save costs, but to carefully source the best fish whole, ensure that they are looked after correctly, and serve to you simply.
The team is also proud to announce that they will be opening a new seafood restaurant in Umhlanga this May. Fish & Wine Co, like Willoughby & Co in its offering, will be situated in Umhlanga Village with a breath-taking view of the ocean. The ambiance of the alfresco-style dining at Fish & Wine Co will entice people to sit for hours, enjoying the view, unassuming seafood dishes and great wine.
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By Nicky Athur