It’s got to be the heartbreak crop of Wendy’s Garden.

Each summer the Cape gooseberries growing down by the orchard promise so much, only to be destroyed by the wildlife just before the chefs get their hands on them.

It’s usually the Silvereye birds doing the damage, sneaking under the nets and destroying each berry with one peck.

But this year the Cape gooseberry has delivered a surprise harvest.

Our Head Chef Gerard discovered the crop a couple of weeks back as he was wandering the gardens looking for fresh produce and inspiration.

Julie, who works alongside Wendy in the kitchen garden, has been thrilled and a little perplexed by the find.

“I didn’t even net the crop this year because the wildlife always get in and eat them, but somehow we got a crop and the chefs found them,” Julie said.

“I just love that our chefs look to the gardens for inspiration rather than just an order sheet from the market.”

The Cape gooseberry bush hails from South America, and produces an orange berry about the size of a cherry tomato.

Or as Gerard describes it: “It’s like a berry and a tomato in one, the texture is awesome but it’s floral as well.”

“They have these sweet, acidic tomato notes but then the sharpness of a not-quite-ripe raspberry.”

Gerard’s one piece of advice for cooking with Cape gooseberries is to leave them alone.

“We just cut them in half because I think it’s criminal to do anything to them.”

Right now you’ll find them matched with the fresh market fish on the restaurant menu.

Enjoy the dish while you can, who knows when we’ll get another crop?


Double goose

A photo posted by Gerard Phelan (@gerardphelan) on