Red Roman

Red Roman

Today, on my birthday, I am fortunate to cook fish. I am grateful for all the moments and years living next to the ocean. I can smell the fresh Atlantic Seabreeze and feel the hot and balmy days on the North Coast. I spend many days, photographing models on the beach, from sunrise to sunset. The fresh morning light casting long shadows and the sunset orange hues colouring faces with warmth.

I think of all the days on the West Coast, savouring oysters, mussels, fresh fish and bubbly to go with it. All the simplistic seafood dishes photographed in the grey house, Duinhuis. A feast of imaginative recipes and authentic cooking overlooking the West Coast waves in the direction of the sunset.

I surfed, I windsurfed, fished off boats, ski and wakeboard splashing into the saltwater. I love the ocean, cold and hot, salty and fresh, majestic and gentle. It is a paradise full of wonder. If you had to choose a kind of food you can’t do without, my choice is seafood. I appreciate all meat and vegetables, but the ocean offers a range of taste and unmatched flavours. The ingredients are unique, offering individual characteristics.

The fire is crackling, the white wine poured is ice cold, frosting the glass. I can taste the sea breeze in the wine. The vineyards are situated close to the ocean susceptible to morning and evening salty winds. The red roman and the yellowtail are prepared and ready to cook. I paint garlic lemon basting onto the fish flaming up the coals. The aroma is distinctive, fresh fish on the barbecue paired with West Coast white wine on a summers day. I sit barefoot, eating flame-grilled fish with my hands, sipping South African wine, dreaming about long lazy days and vibrant summer nights on the beach. The waves run along the shore, sparkly and soothing. The ocean-roar is forceful, and the ocean hush is comforting. The thought is peaceful, tranquillity in a wave, and stories in a glass.

Red Roman

A fish from the sea,
A fish I can see.
Traditionally fished,
rod and reel.

Slinger, fast-growing,
feasting on the reef,
vulnerable but green,
swim to the rocky bottom.

A redfish, red roman,
called a slinger,
called seabream,
skin glow silver blue,
agile and swift over the rich reef.

Caught by the redhead bowman,
the green hunter man.
A bow, an arrow,
a fishing line, a hook,
line fished to cook,
a tasty treat Red Roman.

Primitive and essential,
the survival of a species.
Gender duality,
gender singularity,
precarious and cautious,
all species must eat.

Exploited but recovered,
sustainably protected,
silver, red and blue,
a swish of the tail,
the light sparkles bright,
the saltwater splashes,
the crisp morning light,
the beauty of the ocean,
I honour you, great beautiful Redfish.

Francois Pistorius.