Where would chefs be with­out gar­dens? Join them in cel­e­brat­ing the soil

Getaway (South Africa) - - NEWS -

Cel­e­brat­ing gar­dens and all that grows in them

‘Farm-to-fork’ and ‘sea­sonal’ are very much in the culi­nary spot­light these days, with dishes show­cas­ing the bounty of na­ture. But gar­dens are not just for feed­ing us – they make us hap­pier, health­ier, more grounded, creative and com­pas­sion­ate, and also bring com­mu­ni­ties to­gether. Gar­den Day on 21 Oc­to­ber sprouted from an idea to en­cour­age South Africans to get to­gether and en­joy their gar­dens – it’s not about the act of gar­den­ing but en­joy­ing the space.

‘Us­ing pro­duce from our own gar­den has added a lovely di­men­sion to our restau­rants,’ says Ber­tus Bas­son, this year’s Gar­den Day am­bas­sador and one of sev­eral chefs who have joined the ini­tia­tive. He will host a home­grown feast at his house in Stel­len­bosch – site of the ‘Jamestown’ gar­den which sup­plies all six of his restau­rants. The meal is R750 pp, in aid of An­i­mal Wel­fare; info@bertus­bas­

(Or try his lat­est eatery, Eike, opened in Au­gust.)

Else­where in Stel­len­bosch, Luke Grant and Jess Shep­herd of Table at De Meye started their gar­den in 2015, and let the pro­duce de­ter­mine what’s on the menu at their fa­mous three­course set lunches un­der the trees. On Gar­den Day they will be cel­e­brat­ing spring, with new veg­eta­bles, edi­ble flow­ers, the in­ter­est­ing use of herbs, straw­ber­ries and ‘hope­fully some rhubarb’. The gar­den has been a chal­lenge due to the drought, says Jess, ‘but na­ture is so re­silient. A few weeks of good rain­fall this win­ter has brought ev­ery­thing back to life.’ The meal costs R355 pp. 072-696-0530

• For events and ideas, see gar­den­ See for a list of gar­den restau­rants.

A week later, in the Over­berg, there will be 15 glo­ri­ous land­scapes to en­joy at El­gin Open Gar­dens, from indige­nous and wood­land gar­dens to for­mal rose gar­dens and Wildekrans’s sculp­ture-filled space. Many will of­fer tea and cake, pic­nics or other treats – in­clud­ing a pizza and wine pair­ing at Loth­ian Vine­yards, fresh oys­ters at Al­menkerk and coun­try tapas at South Hill. 27–28 Oc­to­ber and 3–4 No­vem­ber. el­ginopen­gar­

ABOVE Chef Ber­tus Bas­son grows his own pro­duce.

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