James Diack
Johannesburg restaurant

‘farm-style fare with finesse’

On the bustling restaurant strip of Parkhurst there is a stalwart that has remained steadfast. Relax outdoors or take a seat indoors where you can admire colourful art on bare brick walls. You may decide to have a quick glass of wine and a plate, or you may decide to go the whole hog – either way you will have the best of Brightside Farm brought to you.

Chef James Diack has a handful of restaurants in Parkhurst and surrounds, with Coobs being the original – originally a café, now a more serious restaurant. “I’m cooking here. The concepts of the restaurants vary, but guests must expect the same standards with different execution. We sell an experience, it is a restaurant where every dish is beautiful because 90% of the ingredients come from our family farm, Brightside, in the Magaliesberg,” says James proudly.

Janet Diack, his mother, keeps Brightside on the right side commercially by being hands-on and an integral member of the Magaliesberg community. It is Janet who taught the women on their farm to preserve, their talents well showcased in ingredients like candied pears. These women were previously hoeing the garden, so upskilling is part of their plan. Other ingredients like the venison and Boerenkaas, are sourced within a 5km radius of the farm.

James, SASSI Trailblazer of the Year in 2018, is passionate about provenance. “It’s all about the sourcing of ingredients and enriching the community from where you source it. We have 320 pigs and wild boar. If animals walk enough and get the right feed the flavour concentration is right. Understanding origin is vital – understand the animal and understand what it eats. At Brightside ingredients originate from pure love. Our aim at Coobs is to enhance these ingredients, not change them.”

Expect delectable dishes like Brightside duck-liver parfait with dukkah, preserved fruit, homemade chutney, candied walnuts and brioche. Look out for the wild boar ragu and the sublime pear dessert – like all the authentic fare – abundant in taste, texture and appeal.

“Here we offer refined farm dining. Our focus, and passion, is to cook what we get, not what we want.” Chef James Diack


Address: 38 4th Avenue, Parkhurst, Randburg, 2193

Contact: 011 447 0710

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