You know the name. You know the food. Lee Currie caught up with Gaby and Lorella Fernandes – names synonymous with the food scene in Durban.
Many Durbanites will remember Gaby Fernandes from his deli and Agruta days in Morningside, and later Gaby’z Tasca in Durban North. Several years after their move to Durban North, Gaby and his wife Lorella were asked by Olive and Oil to join their flagship, Quintessential Foods. “We were with them for four years,” recalls Lorella. “We then sold the Tasca and focused on consulting as well as perfecting and marketing Gaby’z BrazzaKu Peri-Peri Sauce, a recipe passed down from Gaby’s father.”
But, it seems you can’t keep a passionate restaurateur away from the kitchen for very long. Right now, you’ll find the couple at Shoreside Terrace Cafe situated in Shoreline Sibaya, a retirement village within the upmarket Sibaya Coastal Precinct. Early in 2021 the pair were offered premises to be run as a cafe and given carte blanche to design and fit it out themselves. They opted for plenty of light and space, which fitted in perfectly with the attractive surrounds and sea in the distance.
Working in a somewhat different environment to what they were used to, it’s clear the couple have adapted well, given a few important adjustments, such as the fare. “We initially intended to run Shoreside as a simple cafe serving our local residents,” recalls Lorella. “Later we felt we needed to attract more residents and introduced some of our classic dishes, such as peri-peri chicken, prawns, calamari, as well as catering for the larger community.” This went down very well indeed.
The cafe/restaurant proved to be a drawcard for residents in the village as well as the rest of the estate. And once word spread that Gaby was back in the business, fans ventured out to find him – from Durban North, Morningside, uMhlanga, Mount Edgecombe and beyond.
Still, being tucked away they felt they needed more foot traffic. To this end, Lorella has started to run private functions with stunning platters of food on offer.
While we were chatting customers drifted in and out touching Gaby or Lorella on their shoulder in greeting; an older couple, a group of women; they know them all. There’s no sitting back for Gaby – not for a moment. He’s full of future plans, ideas, all relating to revolutionising the food industry in one way or another – his enthusiasm is contagious.
As busy as he is, he somehow finds the time to play golf and keeps fit in the gym twice a week.
In this often brutally competitive food industry we had to ask this dynamic couple what the secret of their success is? “Just hard work, people skills, and of course our famous BrazzaKu Sauce,” smiles Lorella.
And their five most popular dishes? Calamari, Chicken Peri-Peri (of course!) Prawn Alio Olio Pasta, Pizzas and Salads.
FOR MORE INFO:
Gaby’z BrazzaKu Peri-Peri Sauce is now available at Checkers and Spars in KZN, online at Yuppie Chef, many smaller outlets, and at Shoreside Terrace Cafe.