18 years on and so much has changed yet so much has remained the same at La Cuccina, both our original Hout Bay Restaurant and our new Newlands restaurant at Josephine’s Mill. Simply put, we are very serious about making people happy through our food. Whether you’re in our restaurant, or ordering our ready meals on-line for home, you’ll find the food we create is “real and comforting”. We use great ingredients, creating simple, layered in flavour food, that speaks to the heart. We strive to serve food to be savoured and enjoyed while perhaps bringing back memories of good home cooking.
We’re particularly proud to be working with so many small, local, artisan food producers who are behind much of what we sell through our restaurant. From our local bee keepers and meat curers to cheese makers and our free range chicken and egg farmer who supplies us exclusively. There is just so much energy and passion going into the making of some first-class ingredients, and supporting local is a part of who we are and what we do.
We know how unusual it is, in our time, to find food that is closer to the source, uncomplicated, unspoilt and emanating from genuine instincts. This idea of simplicity is one of our basic principles. Along with a sense of generosity and trust, passion and a love for what we do, it is what drives us to please our guests each and every time they visit La Cuccina or buy our ready meals for their homes.
We make a conscious effort to renew and re-craft as well as maintain our consistency. We always aim to deliver food that looks good with exceptional flavours and present and serve our food impeccably, creatively and with integrity.
Our cupboard is wide, our buffets and meals ever-changing, but our ethos of simple, wholesome, delicious and unpretentious, flavour filled food, remains the core from which all our creativity flows.
We take our food and ingredients extremely seriously and we respect the source. We make all our home meals right from scratch in the La Cuccina kitchen. We only buy raw ingredients and present food we would want to eat ourselves. We don’t use colourants or preservatives and we don’t freeze or refrigerate for long periods. We want our food to promote health whilst keeping our sense of tradition and originality.
Although many of our home meals can be frozen, (helpful to remember for busy moms and dads, as well as singles) we make them fresh every day and provide them chilled. You decide whether to eat today or freeze for another day. Our sell by and best before dates are your guarantee of their freshness. We buy mostly local produce, very often organic and/or free range.
We cook to feed, nourish and to share, applying the same care and love that you would at home when cooking for your family and friends. You’ll be surprised at the great value our convenient meals represent, not only when you taste them, but also when you consider cost of ingredients, and the time saved in not having to prepare and cook yourself. All prepared by hand with the finest, freshest ingredients.
From the classics to home style meals with a twist you’ll love our wide range of delicious, wholesome, restaurant quality meals. Perfect for those days when you don’t have time, or just don’t feel like cooking yourself – and you’re looking for food made with love rather than store bought ready meals or takeaways.
OUR TEAM OF TWELVE IN THE LA CUCCINA KITCHEN ARE LED BY OUR 3 CHEFS WHOSE DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE COME TOGETHER BEAUTIFULLY TO CREATE THE WIDE VARIETY OF DELICIOUS MEALS THAT ALLOW OUR CUSTOMERS TO ENJOY LA CUCCINA RESTAURANT QUALITY FOOD IN THE COMFORT OF THEIR HOMES.
I started at La Cuccina in 2002. I was trained back then by the Chef on site and that is when, through time, I developed a love for cooking and food. Coming from a humble background there were many things, many ingredients that I had never tasted before and many dishes that I had not experienced before; my experience and taste lived in traditional African dishes. As my knowledge of different foods grew so did my passion, of how certain ingredients were just made to be together, like pears and dates in our Pear & Date Chutney, or the use of herbs to enhance and complement our fish, chicken and meat dishes. As I continued to work with new ingredients and dishes my fear decreased, and now I love many dishes and types of food that I would never have eaten before! So much so that I now take most of these recipes home and recreate our delicious food there for my family. As a result my three beautiful children will have a far better developed sense of taste than I did, which is very good as the world is becoming smaller. Since Ian has owned la Cuccina what has been developed, for all of us, is a real sense of family and a real sense of team. We are in it together and my dream of growing and owning has now been realized for which I am truly grateful.
My earliest childhood culinary memory was the special moments I shared with my gran and grandpa in East London during the July school holidays. My gran (Poppie) always insisted that I help her in the kitchen, whether we were baking cakes, preparing for Friday day night supper (Shabbas) or putting together a regular lunch with my gramps and brother around the table. My Gramps even closed his business for lunch everyday – imagine if we were still able to do that today! What was immediately evident is that they absolutely loved the sharing and serving of their food made with love to their family and friends. Their appreciation of great fresh ingredients, our most precious resource time, and the enjoyment of the ritual of the preparation. These special encounters and priceless memories without a doubt shaped my career path and my love of food. To this day this ethos is manifested in La Cuccina and in me, the essence of which is “never rush a good thing”, “slow down and appreciate what you have (family time) “and “savour the love you put into food”.