With the launch of Cape Town’s latest food hub, the GOODfood Market in Woodstock, came a wide range of interesting new vendors, including South Africa’s first insect-based restaurant. This unique experience will run till the end of November, so try it now while you still can.

Gourmet Grubb is one of the vendors to be showcased at the GOODfood Market and brings Capetonians ‘The Insect Experience’ with their pop-up restaurant, offering a variety of unique bug-based dishes designed by chef Mario Barnard.

“We are extremely excited about the new store – people have responded very well so far and look for to introducing the concept to many more,” says a Gourmet Grubb spokesperson.

Chef Barnard of Gourmet Grubb in action.

This is not the first insect foodie offering courtesy of Gourmet Grubb, who also sell insect-based salts, ice creams, proteins, and milk.

Barnard is a perfect fit for the eatery – he has just returned from a trip to Thailand, where he experienced all sorts of interesting creepy-crawly food items, including tarantulas and scorpions.

Although the idea may have seemed unusual and hard to swallow at first, Barnard quickly acclimatised to the idea and came back with a number of new recipe considerations.

Gourmet Grubbs’ insect Entolatte.

The idea behind this unique company was born in 2017 from research on alternative protein by product manager Leah Bessa, who studied food science and investigated the valuable uses for black fly larvae. This lead to using the larvae as a protein power for black-fly-larvae milk which was then used to create a truly unique ice cream flavour.

Gourmet Grubb is urging consumers to reconsider the way they see insects and think about the health benefits of consuming insect-based products, as well as their high protein content, zero carb content, and zero sugar. On top of this, it is claimed by many who have tried insect dishes that when you remove the idea of eating insect from your mind, insect-based meals are indeed as delicious as they are nutritious.

“Honestly, people have been a lot more willing to try our insect based products than we anticipated. There is of course one or two people that are just not ready to take the next step but people have been very open minded about all of it,” says Gourmet Grubb.

With the world’s rampant population growth, an increasing number of societies, specifically in Asian countries, are leaning further towards favouring insect-based foods and more of the globe could well end up following suit in coming years.

“The store we currently have is a concept store to introduce the concept of eating insects to the consumers. As of now, we do not intend on opening up another store as our core focus is Gourmet Grubb and EntoMilk. With that being said, you never know what the future holds and we might pop one open in a few more cities. Insects are a source of nutrition just like many other thing we eat – Commercially farmed insects are safe to eat and clean. Once you try one or two your mindset will shift rather quick and you will the possible benefits they hold,” says Gourmet Grubb.
An unusual insect-based meal.

“We want to redefine the way you think of insects as an alternative food source and, specifically, an alternative dairy product. By challenging the way you perceive insects, we can move away from the ‘novelty food’ aspects of insect-based foods and start integrating insects into our daily diets.

“But we know change takes time and requires incremental steps, even more so when the change centres around what we eat and drink. By using ice cream as our vessel, we invite you to try something out of the ordinary and truly treat your senses,” says Gourmet Grubb.

Their new ‘The Insect Experience’ pop up store officially opens from July 11 at the GOODFood Market in the Iron Works shopping centre in Woodstock, and those brave enough to give it a try are sure to be welcomed with open feelers.


Pictures: Gourmet Grubb/Mario Barnard

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