This delicious spring lunch includes produce straight from Simone and Kathy Whittaker’s abundant garden
Alfresco entertaining with Simone and Kathy Whittaker
Simone Whittaker’s love of food began on family holidays in Portugal and Spain where, as a young child, she foraged for clams on the beach. “I think even then I understood the pride the locals took in the fresh produce which they displayed so skilfully in markets and restaurants,” she says.
Today this multi-talented, Silwood Kitchen-trained chef and her mother Kathy run and manage events in the Cape-style barn that forms the hub of Monchique in Hout Bay.
Kathy’s thatched home, with its traditional fireplace, comfy leather sofa and wooden beams evokes the nostalgic atmosphere of a bygone era. Her huge country kitchen features an old scrubbed wooden table and displays of blue and white china. The two large ovens are where Kathy bakes delicious breads for all the functions and events. “People appreciate the care that we take and the fresh produce we use in all our meals,” says Simone. Together with an abundance of irresistible food, it all makes for a memorable occasion.
Simone’s interests also include designing and decorating. She assisted with the design of the Karoo-style cottages on the Monchique estate and recently helped refurbish their luxury Clifton apartments.
When she is not planning events, creating menus and managing their properties, Simone finds time to grow her own organic herbs and vegetables. Her favourites are asparagus, Italian artichokes and exotic tomatoes. Mulberries, oranges, lemons and limes come from the orchard next door to Simone’s cottage.
Mother and daughter have evolved an easy kitchen partnership over the years and each has their own particular skills. Simone has become a dab hand at braaiing and regularly serves chargrilled Greek-style leg of lamb.
They both have a f lair for styling and when they entertain their friends, a group of career women, the table on the stoep is set with blue and white china and has a certain relaxed and casual joie de vivre, the perfect complement to a delicious spread.
MUSSELS WITH CAP CLASSIQUE AND SAFFRON BUTTERFLIED KAROO LAMB WITH CHIMICHURRI SERVED WITH ORZO WITH LEMON
AND PARSLEY RASPBERRY AND VANILLA
Simone Whittaker, Lillian Schultz, Kathy Whittaker and Kelly and Sheree Bates