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  • Writer's pictureMargaret Hirsch


A Heritage of flavours

Aroma’s of spices and herbs wafted through the air as Chef Luke Nair, Head Chef at Durban’s Iconic Oyster Box hotel, cooked up two aromatic and flavoursome, traditional Durban Curry’s in celebration of Heritage Month. Luke impressed the audience – on Zoom and Facebook –  with a fantastic crab curry and a chicken and prawn curry made with his own secret ingredients.

Hirsch’s Homestores host these Virtual Kitchen Capers events to celebrate local chef’s and restaurants around South Africa on a regular basis, with Margaret Hirsch, Executive Director of the Hirsch group, and an amateur chef herself, hosting the events remotely. The Hirsch’s team were excited to be hosted by the Iconic hotel which is so rich in local Durban history. The Oyster Box Hotel was originally founded in 1863 as the Oyster Cottage which served as a navigational beacon. It was sold in 1952 and after some upgrades in 1954 the Oyster Box hotel emerged. In 2006 the hotel was resold and in 2009 it was given a facelift and some newly added features, such as the lighthouse bar, which has kept the timelessness of the hotel.

Chef Luke finished off by explaining to guests, who had zoomed in from as far afield as New Zealand,  how by using different spices you can create different depths of flavour and heat and that experimenting with different herbs and spices shouldn’t be daunting.. “ You get different masalas for different types of meat, you have to be generous with the spices to make the gravy rich ” he explained.

Margaret thanked Luke and his team and the audience for joining the event remotely, and she ended the event by saying how important Indian flavours and cuisine are to Durban as they play an integral part in our heritage.

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