One of the signature dishes of Bram Fowler’s is the peri peri prawns, named for a spice from his native South Africa. Fowler features the dish on the menu at Journeys of Alaqua, where he is the chef and owner, along with his wife, Geraldine.
“Peri peri is a spice that comes from South Africa,” says Fowler. “It’s a very small, very hot chile pepper. I import them and crush them down to a powder.” Fowler says he buys the biggest prawns he can find locally and seasons them in salt and the peri peri powder. They’re pan-seared in a bit of oil, and then he adds some white wine and butter. He turns the heat way down — “Almost off” — to let the butter melt slowly around the prawns. He serves them on fluffy basmati rice with lightly sauteed julienned zucchini and carrots.
So if peri peri prawns is my dish, What’s My Wine?
“I would serve it with a chenin blanc,” says Fowler. Because it’s a South African dish he prefers a wine from that country. He says the Graham Beck 2009 chenin blanc, called The Game Reserve, is perfect because it has just a bit of residual sugar but isn’t too sweet. He said the spiciness of the dish needs a touch of sweetness to offset it, but a too-sweet wine would overpower the prawns. A chardonnay or anything with forward fruit in its taste would also work. (For the record, he usually uses chardonnay or sauvignon blanc when cooking the prawns.)
Here’s a link to Fowler’s recipe for Peri Peri Prawns.