Fireside Bistro

Creating a community ambience – Braai Food concept . . .

Burning wood produces environmental impacts,

that is why it must be done responsibly.


Fireside 1So what impact does wood have on our environment? The Fireside Bistro aims to use alien and invasive species such as Blue Gum and Black Wattle woods when igniting their pizza oven and fire grill cookers. Let’s be honest that there is something so uniquely primal about cooking with fire. It creates a rustic and casual quality to food that raises roasted chicken to a new palatable level of enjoyment.

Wood-burning cookers and stoves are a popular source of heating in many countries. However in recent years there has been much debate about the potential negative health effects associated with wood smoke. A Norwegian researcher has studied the influence of combustion conditions on the emissions and their health effects. Wood-burning is controversial in many countries, including the USA and Canada. Some groups wish to ban wood-burning whereas others attempt to convince opponents that clean-burning technology is environmentally friendly.

“The physical and chemical properties of particulate matter from wood-burning have great influence on how these particles may affect our health. Worsening of cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are the main concerns,” says Anette Kocbach Bølling from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The only certainty is that emissions are reduced by improved combustion conditions and that we are thus exposed to smaller amounts of particles when new cookers are used. More research is necessary to ascertain how particles from different combustion conditions affect our health.

Responsible wood heating should be defended from criticism that it is bad for the environment. In fact it should be promoted on environmental grounds. When we talk about the impact of wood burning on the environment we should consider three distinct forms of impact: smoke pollution outdoors, indoor air pollution, and the impact on the health of the forest.

Even though there are these three different forms of impact, being responsible is not such a complicated task.  Responsible wood heating is so straightforward that its main requirements can be stated in a single sentence, like this one:

“Burn sustainably harvested, properly processed and seasoned fuel in an advanced combustion cooker, stove or fireplace that is vented through an extraction chimney that runs straight up through the building”.

Successful heating with wood also requires a level of physical fitness and the learning of a special set of skills. Clearly, wood heating is not for everyone. The well-known chef/owner Terence Klaff is a professional chef since 1997. Terence has created a unique South African concept utilising open fire cookery at the Fireside Bistro, Grant Avenue Norwood Gauteng.

The main menu and restaurant is focused on the wood-fired oven and grill anchoring one side of the bistro. Walking through the main door you will smell the wood and the food, as almost everything is touched by fire.

Terence Klaff has also worked and studied at the Zevenwacht Wine Estate while setting up the Cape Town Grill House. Then in 2011 he trained at the Prue Leith Chefs Academy who has trained world-class chefs who worked in famous kitchens all around the world including Jamie Oliver, the Roux brothers and Gordon Ramsay.

In 2012 Terence travelled to Italy, where he attended ALMA the world’s leading international educational and training centre for Italian Cuisine, furthering his studies mentored by famous Gualtiero Marchesi.

The food critics Gault and Millau, in an interview published in the Times, named Gualtiero Marchesi as one of the best chefs in the world. His name is on the pages of the most famous food guides and in 1985 the Michelin Guide book paid homage to Gualtiero Marchesi by making him the first non-Frenchman to be awarded three stars. Gualtiero Marchesi is also a founding-member of Euro-Toques International, the European Community of chefs, founded under the auspices of the EU.

Terence was also the head Chef for La Rustica, located in Houghton for a number of years. Today Terence has over 20 years of experience in kitchens around the world. Cooking is his great love and passion. The menu at Fireside Bistro is expansive, and not expensive so keep an eye out for his upcoming new specialities.

Generally people travelling to Italy only realize the differences about Italian cuisine when they arrive. Back home of course we naturally keep eating ‘Italian cuisine’ the way we are accustomed to. Nevertheless it’s quite interesting and at times amusing to discover that, those things we considered to be so authentically Italian, the people in Italy have never even heard of.

While at Fireside we asked Terence about the “pasta al dente” and not al dente!

Like anything there is an art to making and cooking pasta the proper Italian way. Terence says “Pasta is not yet on my menu, but I shall include it on the menu soon”. Entire chapters can be written about pasta alone, but I think the biggest sin about pasta is probably overcooking it. Not only doesn’t it taste great, overcooked pasta is also harder to digest. Terence is keen to be making home-made pasta right at the Fireside Bistro.

An off menu Italian Espresso as the name says, it defines an express coffee. It is drunk for breakfast, after lunch, at home or quickly at the bar, or the counter. There are different versions of espresso coffee. Just to name a few: cappuccino, ristretto (concentrated coffee), lungo (a longer-style), corretto (with a little shot of liquor).

You will not find shots of vanilla, nor any other kind of extras added to your coffee. Nor will you find any ‘latte’. Ordering a ‘latte’ in Italy might get you a glass of milk. One thing you will probably never see in Italy is someone drinking a cappuccino with a meal, or right after a meal. The local Italians drink it mainly for breakfast, and perhaps matched with a cornetto (croissant).

Fireside menu includes a starter with a difference, “Springbok Carpaccio” – served with parmesan shavings, capers and red onion. For a healthy main course one may choose the “Ostrich Steak” (300gms) served with a creamy Madagascan peppercorn sauce or coated with chimichiurri.

Other superb cuisine – T-bone’s, rump, fillet, chicken (deboned) Falklands calamari, mussels, prawns, salmon, kingklip, Bocconcini salad and more. The bistro is dedicated to using the best ingredients, and all food is cooked to perfection using natural wood fires, which in turn creates an exceptional relaxed ambience.

Italians do enjoy bitter, pungent food tastes, however if look at history on how to make good foods, Terence has discovered the secret . . . to serve food in it’ s most natural and simple state The bistro not only has a casual,, relaxed clientele but is creating a healthier braai environment, no chips, fryers all food is roasted on open fires. A variety of fresh quality meats are flame grilled with butter or olive oil sometimes marinated in pure sunflower oil. All dishes are served with potatoes, and currently is the only carbohydrate served with your meal. No pastas or rice.


The bistro uses suppliers who know their sources and purchase HACCP approved products. The Fireside Bistro like things just the way they are . . . creating a casual happy place which proudly boosts South African and the likes of those with an international palate for simply good food.

Notably the Fireside Bistro caters for private functions to suit your requirements.


Ref Eco Health Sense

Norwegian Institute of Public Health,




Purchasing certified wood from sustainable forests ensures we provide wood products for today’s generation without eliminating wood supplies for future generations.