&FRIENDS, the hosts and creators of last year’s sensational design based market at Heidelberg’s utterly cool Poortjie Saal, have charmed us with their sassy social media campaign for Sunday Best: The Brunch Edition. The long table style 4 course brunch takes place this Sunday and promises to “turn the most important meal of the day on its head.” Less eggs ‘n bakey, more crispy eggs on bubble and squeak risotto, they say. We chatted to this insatiably talented trio’s co-founder Johannes van Greunen to get the skinny.
Who is &Friends? We’re Johannes van Greunen, Katryn Beaurain and Francois Scholtz, three friends who share a (somewhat gluttonous) love for fine food and design.
You make up a formidably creative team, what do each of you bring to the mix? We all have our day-jobs, some of which are rather removed from any form of creativity, but our personalities and, dare I say, talents are actually wonderfully intertwined and we all have a say in each aspect of our collective creative endeavours. Organisationally, I take the lead with the development of each gathering’s identity and marketing, while Francois acts as liaison between sponsors and suppliers and Katryn is the creative stylist. And we curate the hand-picked makers and purveyors for the events as a team.
How do you convince Joburgers to venture 40 minutes out of town to Heidelberg? With concept and content. We may be hosted in the countryside, but our offering is contemporary. Our entire concept is stylized, from the branding to the ever-evolving styling of the giant shed that houses the &FRIENDS gatherings. We edit the selection of makers and purveyors carefully to ensure that the offering is contemporary, of great quality and diverse, appealing to a crowd that appreciates attention to detail and values craftsmanship. Of course, free entry, live entertainment and artisanal food and drink also beckon the good-timers.
What are you all passionate about? We’re all about creative expression, in whatever form that takes, and are avid supporters of new and young creative talents in the fields of food and design. We try to keep our fingers on the pulse of what is developing on the South African contemporary craft scene, as well as internationally in food and design and how that can be translated in the South African context.
Now that you have us hooked on your markets, you’re launching Sunday Best, tell us a bit about that… Sunday Best is a series of conceptual, food-based gatherings that will be hosted on the occasional Sunday and will take many forms. The first edition called The Brunch Edition on 17th of June is an 80 seater, 4-course brunch that will be nothing like the eggs and bacon your local chain offers.
That’s quite a statement, so what will you offer? The full menu was released on our social media streams and includes four delicious and contemporary twists on timeless classics, but my favourite is the Spiced Doughnut with Soy and Plum Pork Belly, Mustard Custard and Nasturtium. Bottomless Mimosas are part of the promise.
And who supplies the produce for those spectacularly refreshing dishes? Heidelberg and the surrounding areas have amazing independent farmers and makers, and most of our produce is sourced from them. The rest of the produce is from small-batch makers in and around Gauteng that all take care in their approach to producing.
Who is responsible for the cooking? As the owner of Poortjie Saal, Katryn takes the lead here, and Francois and myself act as sous chefs along with the in-house team.
Given your reputation, we know that the décor will be nothing short of exceptional… what’s planned for this week’s Brunch Edition? We’re taking a more ‘minimalist’ approach with a single, 30 meter long table in the middle of the giant shed and creating a conceptual interior of off-white with pops of pastel colours.
Your go-to components when it comes to your own Sunday lunches at home? Good company, food with soul and full glasses.
Tickets are R350 each, email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your seat… do it fast.