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Fine dining with insects at the gourmet grub on Top Billing
Top Billing dines at The Insect Experience
Jean Louwrens of Gourmet Grubb and Chef Mario Barnard are challenging the way we perceive insects, so that we move away from the ‘novelty food’ aspects of insect-based foods and start integrating them into our daily diets.
Two billion people already consume insects as a part of their diet and with the world’s fisheries under severe strain and existing protein sources insufficient to meet demand, here’s the solution.
The Insect Experience is South Africa’s first insect restaurant and was started in 2017. Through experimenting with black salted fly larvae first, the restaurant now has a variety of meal options on their menu.
To get the taste buds tantalised, Chef Mario made Bugliatelle! Made with flour from the same larva powder, this pasta is high in fibre with no carbohydrate value. Plus, the larvae are comparable to red meat in protein and fat, while being much higher in zinc, iron and calcium than beef.
Included in the meal, the chef added black salted fly croquets – potato based with chickpeas, mushrooms, onion, garlic, fresh herbs, and black salted fly. To top it all off he made mopane polenta fries. Mopane worms are a staple in Northern parts of our country. Turning them to polenta just makes them more relatable.
More than just a restaurant, Mario and his colleagues want you to enjoy insects, then buy your own to try cooking at home!