We’d always been fans of the brand and regularly visited Kauais around the country. Last August we were travelling back from our annual Spar conference and were enjoying a meal at the Kauai at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport. Being a healthy vegetarian, I remarked that we definitely needed a Kauai back home. Justin agreed and that weekend we decided to send off an email to Kauai’s head office. Timing is everything – a site had just become available at Walmer Park and the rest is history!
2) Why did you identify with the brand?
3) What has the response been like since opening at the beginning of April?
We’ve received so much positive feedback about the store and how much a health option was needed in PE. We’ve also received wonderful feedback from parents who are trying to get their children to steer away from fried foods – we have a kiddies menu with dishes like a “spider burger” and “breakfast face” scrambled eggs for the kids.
4) What are the most popular choices on the menu, and do you have your own personal favourites?
The Princess Wrap is very popular – it’s filled with avocado, chicken mayo and feta – while the most popular smoothie is the Strawberry Stinger.
5) Why is Kauai a good health choice?
You can eat a delicious meal with great combinations of food that compliment each other, and not have to worry about cholesterol, fat content and so on. Our food is prepared in the most nutritional manner possible – our relishes are made on site, there is no MSG, tartrazine or preservatives in our food and the oiliest thing in our kitchen is an avocado. Lactose-intolerant customers are able to substitute dairy with GM-free soya milk.
6) Do you consider yourselves to be a ‘foodie’ couple?
We don’t get around to doing much cooking, especially because of time constraints, but we are a foodie couple in that we love eating, and eating out! Having lived in Greece until I (Nerissa) was 11, I love eating – it must come from all the Greek aunties forcing food down my throat! My family has been involved in the food business for many years.
7) When cooking for your own family, at home, what style of cooking do you most enjoy?
We don’t have kids yet, just two beautiful kitties that command meals of their own! Cooking in our home can be a dilemma as I’m a vegetarian and Justin is a meat lover. This results in three different meals being made – my dinner, Justin’s dinner and the kitties’ dinner! I’m very fond of the Mediterranean style of cooking while Justin loves Asian cooking – he makes a fabulous prawn Thai curry.
8) What is your favourite way of entertaining?
Seeing that cooking is not one of my (Nerissa’s) talents – I’ve been known to burn things! – we tend to stick to good old-fashioned braais with close friends. We don’t entertain much but definitely need to put entertaining on our New Year’s resolution list for 2010. While we might not go for elaborate courses for our guests, we could always provide them with fabulous snacks from our catering menu at Kauai!
9) Which one of you does most of the day-to-day cooking at home?
We tend to make our dinners together but Justin is in charge of cooking his meat! We get home quite late and tend to make quick and easy (but healthy) meals, usually consisting of fresh salads and grilled meat or fish.
10) What five ingredients do you always stock up on at home?
Feta cheese, vine-ripe tomatoes, red onions, champagne and Sweetie Pies!
Kauai recipe 1: Princess wrap
Ingredients for the chicken mayo: 2 skinless chicken fillets, grilled and chilled; 75ml low-fat mayo; salt & freshly-ground black pepper to taste.
Method for the chicken mayo: Cut the chicken into small cubes; mix in the mayo, salt and pepper and set aside.
Warm up the wrap and add the sliced avocado across the middle, dividing the amount between the two wraps. Add the chicken mayo across the top.
Add the lettuce, then the tomato, grated carrot and crumbled feta.
Roll up the wrap and devour!