Cape chef cooks up a storm in India

Cape Town - 130620 - Guy Clark, a finalist in last years Master Chef South Africa discusses how his life has changed since the competition as well as the the restaurant he his opening in New Deli, India. REPORTER: WENDYL MARTIN. PICTURE: CANDICE CHAPLIN

Cape Town - 130620 - Guy Clark, a finalist in last years Master Chef South Africa discusses how his life has changed since the competition as well as the the restaurant he his opening in New Deli, India. REPORTER: WENDYL MARTIN. PICTURE: CANDICE CHAPLIN

Published Jun 22, 2013

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Contestants on the new season of MasterChef South Africa may be crying their way through the first challenges, but one contestant from the previous season of the M-Net show is soaring to success in New Delhi.

Capetonian Guy Clark finished 11th in the original chef search season, but has since been swept off to India by an Indian billionaire, cooking for royalty and celebrities, including Lionel Ritchie.

And all this from a former property broker who entered the show with the intention of giving his winnings to anti-rhino poaching efforts.

Today Clark is set to take the reins in the kitchen at a new New Delhi restaurant, Uzuri, a European-African fusion restaurant.

Last December Clark found himself cooking in Franschhoek for Indian businessman Analjit Singh.

The tycoon hired Clark to travel to India and redesign his private kitchens.

“I did that for six months. I cooked for his daughter’s wedding of 2 500 people. Lionel Ritchie and the Prince of Bhutan were among the guests,” Clark said during a visit to Cape Town this week.

Word spread through Delhi, and Clark was soon approached to head up the new 90-seater restaurant Uzuri, which opens next month.

“It will be European food with shades of Africa. We won’t just do a beetroot purée, we will do a rooibos tea beetroot purée. We will be serving ostrich, but beef is off the menu,” he revealed.

Clark also has plans to take pap to a “whole new level”, and wants to introduce Delhi palates to other South African dishes, including the bunny chow and local cheeses.

“They like it (African food). The Dehlilites are looking for something new, and this (South Africa) is a sought-after destination. Delhi is all about the bling. This is the first African-European fusion restaurant in India.”

Clark says he’s been working so hard in India he’s had just five days off in six months.

This week Clark was back in the kitchen, preparing a taster for a group of food writers.

On the menu? Ginger, vanilla and sweet potato soup with wild edible flowers; beetroot, fennel and goat’s cheese cannelloni with parmesan tuille; salmon ceviche with asparagus purée; deep fried sushi balls; and black caviar and rib-eye in a coffee and paprika rub, with dijon mustard compound butter and emmental potato fondant lashed with wild rocket-infused truffle oil.

Clark has come a long way since he took up cooking trying to impress a girl in high school. It was a pasta dish, but he can’t remember if she liked it.

Women are not a priority – Clark says he’s “in a serious relationship with food right now”. -Weekend Argus

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