James Diack of La Stalla, Melville
Travelling is when I research new ideas, explore new flavours and indulge my passion for wine. My three favourite places in the world are France, Italy and Spain. In Spain I had some of the best Iberico ham I’ve ever tasted, made from pigs that roam around feasting on acorns. We tried it with our pigs here in SA and our acorn-fed wild boar is famous now. A 15-course pairing menu changed my view on food. It was at Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain, and used ingredients sourced from within five kilometres. My most memorable holiday was barging through Burgundy last summer. My wife and I ate at Au Fil du Zinc in Chablis. Maputo is just pure soul food. What a vibe that city has. Everyone should visit the Cape winelands – especially the smaller, boutique wine farms. Many winemakers have this fantastic ‘can-do’ attitude, using their own skill set and willpower. We have a beach cottage on the South Coast that has been in my family for years – we take all the dogs and really chill. Everyone pitches in with the cooking and there’s always loads of wine and lots of laughs. On holiday, fresh bread, cheese, pickles and charcuterie are the best. Paired with a cracking bottle of white wine. • La Stalla is a revamp of The Federal. 010-900-4876. James also owns Il Contadino and The National (in Parktown North) and Coobs (Parkhurst).