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Chef Michelle Theron’s grilled kingklip with white chocolate Béarnaise

Michelle’s philosophy of regional, sustainable cooking sprang from a traditional South African home, where a luscious garden offered loads of home-grown produce and mealtimes were taken seriously. She studied culinary arts and then worked at several restaurants in and around Cape Town, before joining the team at Pierneef à La Motte in 2010. She helped them make the top 10 in the 2013 Eat Out DStv Food Network Awards, becoming the executive chef in 2014. She showed us how to whip up her spectacular grilled kingklip (back on the green list by the way!) with white chocolate Béarnaise.

And don’t forget to check out what we got up to in the La Motte kitchen!


For the white-chocolate & rooibos oil
120g white chocolate, chopped
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup grapeseed oil
10g rooibos powder
For the white-chocolate & rooibos Béarnaise
2 tsp butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
150 ml white wine
150 ml fish stock
1 egg yolk
White-chocolate & rooibos oil
For the smoked-potato, caper & onion salad
600g baby potatoes, boiled, peeled and cooled
30g Italian parsley, chopped
20g dill, chopped
10g chives, chopped
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp capers, fried until crisp
Salt and  black pepper
For the kingklip
6 × 150g kingklip fillets
Lemon-infused olive oil, to drizzle
Butter, to brush
Lemon juice

For the white-chocolate & rooibos oil
Melt the chocolate.
2. Slightly warm the olive and grapeseed oils, and mix with the rooibos and melted chocolate.
3. Use a hand blender to combine the mixture completely. Leave to cool to room temperature.
For the white-chocolate & rooibos Béarnaise
1. Melt the butter over medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic until translucent, 5 minutes.
2. Deglaze the pan with wine and let it reduce until almost dry. Add the stock and cook until sauce is reduced by half. Strain through a sieve into a bowl.
3. Whisk in the egg yolk.
4. Gradually pour in the white-chocolate & rooibos oil, whisking constantly, until sauce is creamy, buttery and sticking to the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside.
For the smoked-potato, caper & onion salad
1. Slice potatoes into 2 cm-thick rounds. Place on a perforated tray that fits in an oven tray. Sprinkle some wood shavings for smoking into the oven tray and place the potatoes on top. Cover with foil and cook on the stovetop over medium heat until it starts to smoke. Leave for 2–3 minutes. Take off the stove and leave covered for 5 minutes.
2. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and season.
For the kingklip
1. Season the fish with salt and drizzle with olive oil.
2. In a hot griddle pan, grill the fish for 4 minutes on each side. Brush with butter and squeeze over fresh lemon juice.
3. Serve with potato salad and Béarnaise sauce.

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