Founded by a Foodie and a Chef /Food stylist, Salt of the Earth Food was the brainchild of two guys, Johan van der Merwe and Larry O’Connor,both of whom have a passion for great food.
Their paths crossed when Larry took part in a fish cookery course which was given by Johan.
Their joint passion for food led them to set-up Salt of the Earth with the mission to create amazing food from the freshest ingredients with a focus on using Irish seafood, locally sources salad ingredients, Irish reared meats and a major focus on innovative vegetarian dishes.
Larry was raised on a dairy farm in the west of Ireland where good food and fresh ingredients were always readily available. Over the years Larry’s interest in food deepened having spent many years living in the South of France and from his travels to South America, Asia and South Africa where he tasted, cooked and enjoyed the diversity of cuisine and flavours. He is excited about bringing all his business and culinary experience to this new venture.
Johan is from South Africa and he spent some of his early culinary career in Franschhoek, a town renowned for its fantastic restaurants and set in the beautiful winelands near Capetown. Over the course of a career spanning fifteen years and four continents, Johan has gained a wealth of experience and skill both as a professional chef and as a tutor.
He has worked alongside industry leaders in the United Kingdom (Chef Michel Roux) and South Africa (Chef Reuben Riffel).
He was head chef at the acclaimed Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland’s leading vegetarian restaurant.
A spell at the illustrious Ballymaloe Cookery School reaffirmed his love for teaching and mentoring both aspiring chefs and amateur foodies. Johan returned to Dublin after a stint at the renowned Glowbal Group of restaurants in Vancouver, the hub of Canada’s beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Currently teaching at Cooks Academy,Dublin and consulting for Cill Rialaig Art project in Kerry, he is a Food stylist preparing his first exhibition to showcase at this year’s Taste of Dublin.
Johan brings with him truly international experience of cooking aswell as his profound passion for food which he always endeavors to inspire in others.
These two guys together with their formidable team plan on cooking up a storm in Irish Food over the coming years, so
let the fun begin!