The cop-turned-chef making tripe cool again

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The cop-turned-chef making tripe cool again

Pitso Chauke, former police officer turned chef and owner of Pitso’s Kitchen, took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to chat to us about all things lockdown, why he loves cooking with offal and hints at a new space for his restaurant.

1. It’s been a long lockdown, felt most by the restaurant and food industry and many chefs hustled to keep their businesses open. We know you offered a delivery service with themed boxes. Can you tell us a little about these? Will you keep offering this delivery service at all?

The box idea is something I had been thinking about for a while, however, when the pandemic hit it felt fitting to launch it. The timing was just right. Everyone was home experimenting with new recipes. It was an exciting time for a creative like myself, creating something from scratch, but slightly terrifying because I really didn’t know if it was sustainable. We won’t be continuing the boxes. The requests for the themed boxes declined as soon as the economy opened up and people could go to restaurants again.

2. How was your lockdown experience as a whole? How did you remain inspired?

I kept myself updated about the pandemic and I kept reminding myself that it was just a phase. I spent most of my time in the kitchen, testing and creating new recipes.

3. Your menu features lots of offal and overlooked cuts such as tripe and chicken feet. Can you talk a little about why you love working with these ingredients so much? What are some of your favourite ways to prepare them?

This is the food I grew up eating as a child and when I moved to Cape Town, I realised there was no food offering like this available. I took it upon myself to make this food accessible and popular in Cape Town. My favourite way to cook these cuts? I like cooking them on an open fire because it brings out that authentic taste.


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4. You recently left your Long Street premises, what was the reason for this?

We’ve been at The Old Biscuit Mill since 2016 and we moved from Long Street because the location was no longer ideal for us and the plans we have for Pitso’s Kitchen. We’re at the Biscuit Mill every weekend so you can catch us cooking there.

5. Tell us about your range of atchars. Where does the inspiration/recipe come from? Which is your favourite?

We have a variety of atchars, also available for purchase at the market. There’s garlic, mild, hot and spicy garlic. Depending on your taste, we can tweak them to cater for all palates. My favourite is the hot – I love my food spicy!


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6. What can we look forward to seeing you do next?

We’re working on big plans, I can’t really mention much at the moment but people can expect a new permanent location. This new location is going to get people excited, there’ll be more safe parking, and it’s closer to the ocean as well. This is going to be more of an experience than just food.

To keep up with Pitso, follow him on Instagram.


Jess Spiro Article by: Jess Spiro

Jess Spiro is a freelance food writer, chef and restaurant critic based in Cape Town, who can often be found in search of the next great plate of food. Follow her on Instagram @jess_spiro to see what she's eating.

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