A charcutier extraordinaire

As the countdown to the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair begins, Creative Feel sat down with Richard Bosman of Richard Bosman’s Quality Cured Meats to find out a bit more about the charcuterie whose cured meats are in high-demand among chefs and gourmets alike.

Creative Feel: Please give us a short synopsis of what you do, why you do it, and why you love it?
Richard Bosman: We make a select range of cured meats using traditional methods. We have built up relationships with farmers who breed pigs to our specifications, which results in a quality product. I started making charcuterie in 2007 as a hobby at home when I owned a delicatessen, and after two years of experimenting, I opened my charcuterie in Cape Town in 2009. I love cooking and eating, and making something that takes a lot of time and patience is very rewarding. It is also an art that has been practised for thousands of years and I love the fact that we are continuing a long-standing tradition.

Richard BosmanCF: What is the origin story of Richard Bosman’s Quality Cured Meats? Tell us a bit more about yourself and the people behind your brand?
RB: I started my career in retail, both in the UK and South Africa, before leaving the corporate life for a small delicatessen in Hermanus. I used to sell imported Italian and Spanish cured meats and during this time I started making some of my own cured meats. In 2009, I moved back to Cape Town and took the plunge by setting up a charcuterie in Killarney Gardens. We now have over 150 customers that we supply to in the Western Cape and Gauteng. One of the most important aspects of our business is the pork and the farmers that supply me are the real heroes as without them our products would not be as good.

CF: What does handmade and ‘a return to making’ mean to you?
RB: ‘Handmade’ and ‘a return to making’ capture some of the current trends in food at the moment. Consumers are becoming very particular about what they eat and where their food comes from. They are also becoming more interested in making things at home. I run courses in Cape Town, Prince Albert, Haenertsburg and Johannesburg where I teach people how to make cured meats at home. They are extremely popular and a lot of fun. It is also great to spend time with amateur enthusiasts and share experiences. As a producer, we try to retain the essence of ‘handmade’ even as our volumes increase so that our products have integrity.

CF: What is the most exciting part of the creative process in the making of your product(s)?
RB: We make a range of salamis and chorizos, which is where we play with creativity. In the past, we have made a Korean chorizo with Gochujang, a Thai chorizo with lemongrass, coconut milk and fresh coriander, a Turkish chorizo with saffron, and a black salami with activated charcoal, fish sauce and sherry. Waiting for them to be ready to taste is very frustrating as the process takes between six weeks and three months before you get an idea of how your creation has turned out. We are also experimenting with some new techniques in curing using Koji from Japan, which is proving to be very exciting.

CF: What trends are currently impacting your industry, both locally and globally?
RB: Current trends that are affecting us are the move away from mass-produced products to small batch production products. This is borne out in the number of new craft breweries, micro coffee roasters and artisanal products now available. We fit very much into the same category and have seen growth in sales in markets such as the Oranjezicht Market at Granger Bay, which is frequented by customers who shop for their vegetables, meats, cheese, fish and charcuterie on a weekly basis. At the market, we can also sell a lot of our products loose without lots of packaging, which is another trend that is both local and global.

Contact Richard Bosman on 083 277 3494, richard@richardbosman.co.za or social media: @bosmanrichard