I first met Karen a few years ago when i did a shoot for a local food magazine at her home…back then, she was predominantly cooking for private clients and for her Saturday store at the Neighbourgoods Market. Since then, Karen has taken things up a notch – she’s opened up shop, moved her giant, most delicious collection of kitchenalia and vintage collectables and set up The Kitchen, a true neighbourhood spot, where buses zoom past on the busy street outside, where regulars pop in at all hours of the day and where the lunch time rush has to be seen to be believed.
Karen’s passion for authentic, rib sticking food with a Med-Middle Eastern twist is contagious and just a few minutes spent at The Kitchen will have you yearning to pile up your plate and throw carb-free, calorie-reduced ideas out the window. The salad bar is chock full of huge vintage bowls and platters filled with the likes of her beetroot, radish, red onion and yoghurt drizzled salad, sweet potato and slow roasted balsamic onions, spicy chickpeas with coriander…shall i go on? I settled for a gigantic roasted chicken sandwich on rye (with all the typically Karen goodies – including her tangy Love potion and a liberal smearing of homemade pesto) and three scoops from the salad bar.
Aside from the mouthwatering savoury offerings (did i mention the sticky roasted pork sausages…oh man they’re good), Karen and her crew are bakers par excellence and she insisted on pressing a frangipani laden almond croissant, a brownie, a Prosperity bar (their peanutty version of a millionaire’s shortbread) into my grubby palms…um, needless to say i arrived home half an hour later in something of a sugar daze with a whole lotta crumbs littering my car…
If you can’t pop into The Kitchen, look out for Karen’s laden stall at the Neighbour Goods Market – and if you can’t face cooking for your next lunch or dinner..you know who to call (check out her site here) …in fact a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine ordered four kinds of salad from Karen, popped a couple of fillets onto the fire, whipped up a gigantic jug of Bearnaise sauce and voila, his supper party for 30 was sorted!
The Kitchen is at 111 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, 021 432 2201
* the fabulous pix were taken by the talented Russel Wasserfall
PS. I really, really believe Karen should turn her amazing talent and exuberance to a book and i’ve been nagging her to do so…wanna nag her too? Email her here…firstname.lastname@example.org..