Dreaming of cocktails in Paris? Well, you can get a preview this December without even leaving the continent. That’s right: two of the creative minds behind Little Red Door are heading to Cape Town for a unique collaboration with Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen and La Colombe.
Little Red Door has been celebrated among the World’s 50 Best Bars for the last nine years running, currently sitting at number five. This year, the bar was also awarded the impressive title of the world’s Most Sustainable Bar for its farm-to-glass ethos, where the team directly partners with local French farmers to source ingredients for their serves.
To spread their message of tighter bartender-farmer relations – and learn more about indigenous flora around the world – the team have tasked themselves with a series of international collaborations… next stop, the tip of Africa.
Timothée Prangé, the co-founder of Little Red Door, said he was keen to come to the Western Cape as he’d heard amazing things about its incredible produce, and of course for the abundance of unique plants to be discovered in the Cape Floral Kingdom. In particular, Prangé chose Cause Effect and La Colombe because of an overlap in philosophy with Kurt Schlechter and James Gaag, co-owner and executive chef of the respective venues. “We choose Cause Effect because of Kurt and all the work he’s done all around Africa. I think he is someone we all need to meet … It is great to show that our [bar] world could be a source of sustainability and social movements!” he said.
“Why La Colombe … I think you just need to check the pictures of the venue and the landscape around it. Even before checking the food and ethos of Chef James, you can understand that something magic is in the air there! We understand that we are working like them and that the result of the collaboration will be something unique, promoting Cape Town!” he continued.
Naturally, Schlechter is delighted to host Little Red Door. “It’s important to have talented bartenders and bar owners travel to Africa so we can learn from their techniques and unique hospitality standards,” he explained.
“We love collaborating with like-minded individuals, to learn and inspire our bartenders and our bar community. Of course, we want to show off our country’s people, nature and hospitality, but it’s mostly about building strong relationships and new learnings for us,” he elaborated.
Gaag too is excited about the collaboration, particularly as it offers the rare opportunity to pair food with cocktails, as opposed to wine. “Yes, food with wine is a classic, but I think beverage pai
ring has evolved as much as food has. We have seen fusions of different cuisines, techniques, and ingredients. In my opinion, the same is happening with beverages,” he said. “Cocktails offer more versatility because you can add freshness or take away sweetness to make a good pairing, something you can’t do with wine. I think the collaboration is a fantastic opportunity for us all to learn something new,” he added.
Barney O’Kane, who will accompany Prangé from Paris, echoes this enthusiasm. “The Cape Floral Kingdom has some of the most amazing and wonderful flowers in the world, and I am excited to find out all about them! It’s always exciting learning about different ecosystems; discovering new smells and flavours just helps build your library as a bartender,” he asserts.
In March next year, Cause Effect will in turn visit Paris, and bring some African flavour to Europe.
-3 Dec 2022
Little Red Door takeover at Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen & Brandy Bar, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa.
-6 Dec 2022
Little Red Door x Cause Effect x La Colombe cocktail-and-food pairing lunch at La Colombe Restaurant, Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa.
-Mar 2023 (details TBC)
Cause Effect events in Paris, France.