Cooking demonstrations with chef Andrew Draper

KZN contributing decor ed Candice Botha attended a cooking demo by renowned chef Andrew Draper. Here are a few of the highlights

Andrew Draper

Chef Andrew Draper

There is nothing like a little inspiration to get you going in the kitchen. After reverting to my old rotation of easy suppers after the busy festive season, a series of cooking demonstrations by renowned chef Andrew Draper, owner-patron of Durban’s Harvey’s Restaurant, was just what I needed. Andrew’s aim with these demos is to encourage attendees to be more adventurous in the kitchen and try something new.

He’s engaging and irreverent and his demonstrations are as entertaining as they are informative. He focuses on a range of dishes, from soups, salads and snacks to impressive main courses and delectable desserts. All the recipes are provided, along with plenty of cooking tips. Some of the dishes I’ll be trying at home are Andrew’s flamed fillet in sherry and green peppercorn sauce, mussel mouclade, cauliflower and cumin soup and a heavenly roasted white chocolate and lavender ice cream.

Andrew shares invaluable insider tricks of the trade (like a recipe for fool-proof red wine reduction) that will certainly save me time and effort in the kitchen. I also enjoyed hearing about restaurant life from a chef who has been running his own establishment to great acclaim for over 20 years.

Andrew’s roasted beetroot and red onion risotto with asparagus and almond butter

Red velvet cupcakes with sour cream icing

The courses run over two consecutive Monday and Tuesday evenings and groups consist of 10 to 20 people. This is a fabulous opportunity to socialise with people who share a love of food.

One of the dishes I have already whipped up at home is a batch of Andrew’s date and cacoa balls, which are completely carb-free and suitable for a Paleo diet.

Here’s the recipe for you to try at home, too:

(Photo by Ciska van Niekerk)

Andrew Draper’s date and cocao balls


  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Place the walnuts and salt in a food processor and process until finely ground.
  2. Add the dates, vanilla and cocoa and blend well.
  3. While the machine is running, add a few drops of water to make the mixture stick together.
  4. Form the mixture into equal sized balls and coat in cacao powder to stop them from sticking together.
  5. Serve with coffee or with strawberries as a dessert.

For more information about Andrew’s demos, sign up for the newsletter on Harvey’s website.