Her face may seem familiar and if you watched Via’s Op Die Spyskaart, then you will remember Amori Burger as the bubbly, fun and straight-talking chef who is the driving force behind the ongoing success of Johannesburg’s acclaimed Van der Linde Restaurant.

Right now Amorui is finalising the eatery’s new breakfast, lunch and dinner menus as well as a separate vegan menu that will offer some very special dishes to those who prefer a plant-based diet.

The venue offers the Bakery & Deli, the Gin & Juice Bar, the Restaurant and the Wine Shop and Linden has recently become home to a number of trendy new restaurants, bars and eateries, and Van Der Linde is one of the tops!

Inspired by local and traditional food merged with international culinary trends, Amori and the team keep the good food coming. I recently enjoyed a tasty lunch with Amori and her team and found a bit more about this popular local restaurant…

What are some current food trends?

People are focusing more than ever on following a healthy diet. Smart foods, probiotics and ancient grains are becoming part of our daily menu. We are looking at vegetables that contain the most protein such as spinach and Brussel sprouts. Fermentation is also on trend. Many restaurants are already playing around with it but I think it will blow up this year (pun not intended!). Also, the use of savoury ice creams in desserts.

What can we expect to see on the Van der Linde menu this year?

We are moving more and more into simple dishes and simple food. Chefs are not manipulating the ingredients but keeping them as true to their natural form and flavour as possible. We are going to introduce more unusual grills such as Denver (chuck) and Skirt steaks.

Tell us about your vegan menu?

We have always had vegan options on the menu but at the end of last year, we decided to do a separate vegan menu so we can offer more to those who prefer a plant-based diet. We have breakfast dishes such as chia vanilla pudding served with fresh seasonal fruits, dried goji berries and nuts or falafel shakshuka (chickpea balls in a spicy tomato sauce) as well as various salads and main courses such as stuffed quince with barley, charred leeks and almonds served with a vegetable jus and our vegan burger made with a chickpea and black bean patty, gem lettuce, tomato and aioli on a freshly baked bun with a side of chips.

What do you cook at home on your night off?

Anything simple, quick and easy. A good salad or a quick steak. We also eat a lot of vegetarian meals at home.

Five things always in your fridge/pantry?

I have an average of 14 kinds of cheese in my fridges at any given time; good quality tomatoes of all sorts, six to ten different salts, various kinds of chilli and lemons and limes.

Best kitchen or cooking tip?

The better the quality of the ingredient the better the dish will be. Source great ingredients, it’s absolutely worth it.

Find out more about Amori and Van Der Linde, here…

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