When you meet Kimon and Diego, you’ll understand that when they throw a birthday party it becomes a street feast festival of seafood, love, family and friends. On Sunday afternoon, there were four generations of family and friends, sharing steamed paprika-cream mussels out of the pot and apricot-butter fish fresh off the BBQ under the shady hibiscus trees in De Waterkant, Cape Town.
When I entered the kitchen, there were six friends already preparing an element to the feast; boiling the potatoes, chopping the parsley, crushing garlic, etc.
Diego was in the kitchen with a cold Corona in one hand, and a kilo of fresh octopus in the other. He confirmed that, “Everything made in this kitchen is made with love,” he exclaimed, enjoying the bustle of his kitchen and wearing his pinstripe apron with a hand-sewn felt caricature of Kimon and Diego’s dog, Ferdinando.
The food that was brought, shared and prepared for Diego’s fish festival birthday party was a testament to how handmade food caters love to everyone’s digestive system.
We celebrated that Sunday with Kimon as our menu MC, hosting popping flavours, beautiful friends in a breathtaking city for what I hope becomes an annual feeshy street birthday festival of shared handmade feasts and love.
Recipe for Raw Salsa on Crackers:
2 fresh tomatoes
1 small bunch of scallions
1 can of corn
3 TB olive oil
sprinkle of salt, pepper, cumin and parsley
Grate tomatoes and onion into a fresh pulp. Chop scallions and add to the tomato and onion mixture. Stir in one washed can of corn and chopped scallions. Add oil, salt, pepper, parsley and cumin to taste. Spread out rye crackers on a platter and dish one spoonful of the salsa on the crackers. Grate thin strips of carrot and sprinkle as garnish over the salsa. Serve immediately to hungry guests.
Recipe for Diego’s Octopus Potato Salad:
1 large bunch of fresh parsley
4 finely chopped cloves of garlic
Clean and pound the octopus to make the meat tender. Boil water and dunk the octopus in the water at 2-3 second intervals 5 times. Once octopus is cooked enough to not break the muscles down in your jaw, cut the tentacles and body into bite-sizes pieces. Put them in a large bowl with the garlic and salt/pepper and olive oil to taste. Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks and boil until soft. Drain the potatoes and add them to the octopus. Stir and mix in the fresh parsley, adding more oil and salt to taste. Serve with freshly ground pepper or a drizzle of red wine vinegar.