Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘italian’

Cape Town’s best pizza: Ferdinando’s (and pet-friendly too)

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Stories on April 16, 2012 at 16:04
Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The Don Ferdinando and BYOB

Build it and they will come.  That is the birth story of Ferdinando’s and their quest to sell 10,000 pizzas.

Our friends, Kimon and Diego have been opening their doors to family and friends for countless fun, vibrant foodie celebrations.  Whether it was a birthday or post-4am Long Street search for food, we always were generously fed.  With Manu Chao pumping through the stereo, you relax and share nourishing homemade food in the comfort of their clementine and paprika painted walls.  I’m now remembering the days before Ferdinando’s:  Diego’s Fish Festival with Octopus potato salad with pots of Portuguese mussels .

Last week, Kimon reminded me, “We haven’t been invited out to dinner in AGES!”  My cheeky response: “Well, can we have Ferdinando’s pizza take-away at our house?”  I’ve learned that friends who build a pizza oven in their own home still want to go to dinner parties too!

Ferdinando's Pizza chef on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

Ferdinando's Pizza oven on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The inside oven

When you’re at Ferdinando’s, you’re eating at the best pizza joint in  Cape Town. It feels like you’re dining or entertaining at home and you forget you’re a paying patron yet there’s a nice feeling knowing you don’t have to do the dishes.

But let’s rewind to April 15th: Kimon’s birthday.

Birthday at Ferdinando’s

We celebrated the official opening of Ferdinando’s-the best Italian pizza speak-easy in town. Everybody and their mom knows it (mine does).  It’s not your average pop-up restaurant. It’s guerilla gourmet. Diego loves creating, Kimon is a creative and together they created a love child:  she’s warm and hot all day long (I’m talking about their pizza oven, guys.)

It’s in their previous dining room, but it all makes sense when you sit around the counter and enjoy the edible doppio zero crust canvas of melted cheese and fresh local and Italian ingredients.

Diego and his fire

Since Kimon’s birthday, we have brought numerous friends and my whole family to get in on this bubbling pizza sensation.  We even included our puppy, Lorenzo who loves his older cousin, Ferdinando: the boss, the dueño, the dog, the inspiration for the pizzeria’s name.  Any comments, concerns, complaints?  Talk to him.

Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

No doggie bags at Ferdinando’s

Ferdinando's Pizza menu on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The beginning of the pizza quest

Ferdinando’s Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

My Mom and Pops, self-proclaimed pizza lovers and global food critics, rate Ferdinando’s pizza  top-notch. On their world tour, they ate at Ferdinando’s at least once a week in June and July to keep their winter fingers warm and their stomachs lined with Grizzly and Shanico’s.  It was the only way to make it through the Cape Town frigid rain and wind-warm up by the wood-burning oven and digest the best immune boosters: Extra garlic four cheese pizza and don’t pass on the Tiger Sauce!

My brother-in law, Billy, specially requested a beef calzone from Diego (there’s nothing this oven can’t do.)

Ferdinando's Pizza calzone on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

The Winter Calzone

My sister, Koko, said  “Yes” to the mozzerella baby (Kimon’s term for eating copious amounts at Ferdinando’s pizza).  Koko used to pick the cheese off her pizza in the 90’s before we had any awareness of Vegan and Lactose-Intolerance diets.  One night at Ferdinando’s pizza can make any Vegan beg for a French Prince. They even make Gluten-free-dom crusts!

Koko eating her share of mozzarella and camembert

And so the love saga continues.  Kimon and Diego love Ferdinando, we love them AND their pizza-oven addition.  We’ll keep supporting them even after the 10,000th pizza is sold and sit down to joy with a reservation for 2 and 1/4, Chris, myself and pup, Lorenzo.

Athena and Chris at Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

Pizza is love yo

Call Kimon or Diego for your own mozzarella baby with Tiger sauce for any Wed, Thurs, Friday Evening 6pm-10pm. And book on Saturdays for your own foodie celebration for 15 or more.  On Monday and Tuesdays, they’ll be eating at our house 😉

CONTACT:Kimon at Ferdinando's Pizza on The Culinary Linguists blog #capetown

Mr Diego il chef +27 843519248; miss Kimon the artist +27 847710485.

Diego’s Fish Festival Birthday in De Waterkant

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on April 3, 2011 at 22:23

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.

Finger food: dunk your bread in the pot and top it off with a marinated mussel

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.

Preparing the Octopus potato salad

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.

Linguine con le vongole

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.

Kimon's kitchen graffiti

Crispy flaky philo quejo cups, wish I had more than just one!

The traveling mussel pot of white wine and creme deliciousness. Avô picking his share of the mussels

MC Kimon and Catch of the Day: Diego

Yes thats a gem squash serving as a bowl for mussel stew

a spicy tomato mussel pot

 

raw salsa appetiser on rye crackers

Recipe for Raw Salsa on Crackers:

2 fresh tomatoes

1 onion

1 small bunch of scallions

1 can of corn

3 TB olive oil

1 carrot

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.

Salsa feasting

Recipe for Diego’s Octopus Potato Salad:

1 kilo octopus

1 large bunch of fresh parsley

8 potatoes

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.

 

Octopus salad

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