Ama Culture food editor Tania Harrison lunches with the Chef at Waterkloof Wine Estate.
A world of pure indulgence awaits at the top of the ‘winy’ roads to Waterkloof Wine Estate. Over the hills of Sir Lowries Pass, I am lured slowly and stealthily to place where nature is celebrated in the most simplistic yet sophisticated way. Waterkloof is a place where awe-inspiring views meet beautiful and meticulous architecture.
Waterkloof’s splendor is found not only in the imposing concrete and glass design of its architecture, or in the considered farming philosophies. Its secret to beauty lies in the way the farm blends modern with natural, manmade with organic and craft with care. Here, the most is made of what the land has to offer.
On arrival, one is met with the vastness of space, light and local friendliness. I am instantly delighted to note the white layered table setting. A well-dressed, presentable waiter, who clearly takes pride in his place of employ, escorts me to the kitchen. My excitement grows as I pass the fresh flowers at reception; the tables glittering with clean crisp thin-rimmed glassware, imported modern cutlery and lavish serviettes.
I meet Gregory, the chef, and am served a rocking double espresso. I quickly realize that he is a man of both skill and passion. Traditionally French- trained, I listen to him speak of conscious coking, forgotten vegetables, seasonal menus, the importance of colour and the basics of food and sourcing local produce. His sense of responsibility as a chef to consider a future generation is inspirational and inviting and I found myself looking forward to the dish he was about to prepare.
His fully-equipped open- plan kitchen is the epitome of transparency and order. He points out his favorite kitchen items: a French stove, British fridge and a selection of imported pots and pans– all chosen to fit his brief.
The dish he starts preparing tasted amazing even as he began to describe it– Fizantekraal lime- cured trout, with green apple and a mustard ice cream, garnished and delicately decorated with radish and micro leafs. The dish is served with Peacock Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2013.
He presented the dish to me at my table. As I prepared to experience a delicate, fresh and elegant meal, I took a moment to appreciate what could only be called a plate of pure passion and design. Everything was considered– and reconsidered. The meal was the perfect match for the ocean and farm view that presented itself through the vast glass windows. I felt spoilt and did not want to leave at the end of it all.
Ama Culture: Art South Africa‘s weekly lifestyle column.