Spanish cuisine leaving its mark on Potch

Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:23am EDT
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By Iain Rogers

POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa (Reuters Life!) - If South African chef Gideon Joubert has his way, generous helpings of Spanish cuisine will be served up in Potchefstroom long after the European champions' World Cup squad have departed.

Joubert is in charge of the kitchen at the new Sports Village at North West University where Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas and their teammates are staying and has been learning the secrets of Spanish cooking from the two chefs who travel with the squad and are responsible for keeping them fed.

The 30-year-old, who cut his teeth among the pots and pans of his grandmother's kitchen in his native Lichtenburg, says the emphasis placed on the freshness of ingredients is what has stood out most.

"This has been a mind-opening experience and has broadened our horizons about the way food is prepared," Joubert told Reuters on Thursday.

"The flavors are simple, yet delicious, and the freshness of the food is mouthwatering," he added.

"I'm sad I'll only get six weeks. I would have been happier with four months."

When the Sports Village restaurant opens to the public after the World Cup, Joubert says he'll be applying what he has picked up from Xabier Arbizu, the Basque chef who is cooking for the squad for the fifth time at a World Cup.

"We want to implement most of the stuff we have learnt and give it a bit of the Spanish heritage," he said, sitting in the sunshine at a cafe near the Sports Village.   Continued...