As featured and advertised in the April 2012 issue of Skyways, Airlink's inflight magazine
Set beneath the back of the majestic Table Mountain, Nikki Booth’s private home and garden create the perfect setting for an intimate dining experience, one that reflects the gourmand’s creative talent and love for flavoursome food. Inspired by years of watching her mother and grandmother create culinary gems, prepared with an authentic love for feeding the tummy and nourishing the soul, Booth strives for excellence in every plate she prepares. Initially motivated by a thriving interest from friends and family, she took on the challenge of impromptu food preparing demonstrations, an active portal that paved the way for even bigger success.
It was after positively manifesting the spark that was ignited on a trip to Italy that Booth decided to take to the kitchen with a whole new approach. Invigorated by the Italian way of life, Booth’s aim became centred on her ability to share the spirit of Italian food, atmosphere and flavour, harnessing the uncontrived and eliminating any show of unnecessary pretence.
An individual who appreciates quality, Booth uses an array of fresh produce that is proudly grown in her very own garden. "I love spending time in the garden and digging my hands in the fresh earthy soil. I find it very therapeutic, it's almost as relaxing as kneading a huge pile of dough."
Working with her small team in her professional home in Cape Town, Booth takes a hands-on approach to everything she does, paying meticulous attention to detail on every gastronomic delight she creates. "What we do is simple yet completely satisfying. We thrive on the positive feedback that we receive from our valued clients," explains Booth. Offering a bespoke culinary experience, Ottimo Cibo serves as an ideal venue for private or corporate functions, with food that is tailor-made to meet clients' needs and tastes. "Some people like to specify and create their own menu, while others love diving into the experience with no expectation or preconceived ideas. We aim to take each person on a food journey that is quintessentially Italian."
With three separate dining areas on offer within the venue, guests are guaranteed a tranquil and homely atmosphere, where the decor pays tribute to Booth's stylishly elegant yet modest and simple taste. With the catering to serve from as small as 18 to a maximum of 44 seated, each table setting represents the fresh, clean and uncomplicated approach that is synonymous with Ottimo Cibo’s business ethos. "We are really flexible when it comes to bookings. We can even host up to 100 people for a canapé and cocktail dinner. It's great fun and it's really inspiring to meet so many interesting people," says Booth with an inviting smile.
Ottimo Cibo offers such an array of culinary spreads, but special mention has to be made of the tantalising antipasti dishes on offer for starters - whether it's the roasted courgette with oven dried tomatoes, gorgonzola and basil leaves, or the beetroot carpaccio with goat’s cheese, walnuts and rocket drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
The team at Ottimo Cibo enjoy turning up the heat in the kitchen, making sure nothing goes amiss or falls short of perfection. "Impeccable service delivery is one of our top priorities. We will go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction," explains Booth. Covering all aspects of a luxury dining experience, Ottimo Cibo utilises one of Cape Town's trusted palettes - that of Wine Concepts founder Michael Bampfield-Duggan.
Constantly developing new ideas and bettering her skills, Booth makes frequent visits back to Italy where she is fortunate enough to share a space in a bustling family kitchen. Surrounded by local talent, this Cape Town gourmand soaks in the traditional techniques and authentic Italian cooking secrets that have been handed down through generations. From one kitchen to another, the magical, heartfelt process of sharing, teaching and tasting continues.