MOVE OVER DATE NIGHT, TAKE ME TO A DELI
AN APPETITE FOR INGENUITY
As the news of restaurants re-opening broke, I considered how adaptable our chefs and restaurateurs have been. From deliveries, take-aways and delis to now redesigning their businesses to not only ensure that they are enticing, but also profitable. Hats off to all of them for their ingenuity and efforts, and to those who have supported them – like Dineplan, selling vouchers for future use.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE INGREDIENT
Chris Erasmus of two-plated Foliage fame is a produce pioneer who many claim put foraging on the map. An integral stalwart of the Franschhoek community, he has for a while dreamt of a deli showcasing the best of the valley. We chatted in the sunshine before venturing in, Chris telling us of how last weekend a throng of bikers descended for take-away gatsbys. Being highly creative, chef Chris is, as always, having fun. Half of the restaurant now stocks a small selection of top-quality produce from bright red pomegranates to dried porcini mushrooms and charcuterie, displayed amongst crafts styled by creative Alisha Erasmus. Whilst sipping on a cappuccino proudly made by manager now-turned barista, Lee-Ann, I loaded up for lunch back home. Smashed salami was delicious on freshly baked bread, with a selection of cheeses and a tub of duck liver parfait that was creamy with a surprising tang. A small jar of vadouvan spice is waiting to be tested. No surprise that the deli stocks items from other chefs in town – I drooled at the Darren Badenhorst table trying to decide on a decadent treat that included mini-cheesecakes, pastries, croissants and pastéis de nata. I looked down at my lockdown lard, resisted and instead added a bag of healthy rusks to my bounty. When leaving Lee-Ann mentioned that cooked meals were next on the agenda, and that one-plated The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal has been transformed into a farm shop, so we headed there.
ON THE PLATE
Amidst mountain bikers and shoppers all respectfully distanced, we wandered to the entrance of the relocated farm shop. A friendly masked face explained that the vegetables listed on the blackboard were available for picking. One of their team accompanies you into the garden, you harvest what you fancy, pop it into your basket and pay. To spend time in the expansive garden alone makes the drive worthwhile. Manager Morné introduced the myriad of baked goods, preserves and meals like make-your-own nachos and pizza kits (very popular) as we chatted, waiting to enter. A beautiful display of lemons with a sign saying ‘take me home’ highlights the sense of abundance of this estate.
THE WEEKEND AWAITS
We would’ve visited the one-plated Chefs Warehouse at Maison shop and deli homeward bound, but it is only now that it is open on weekends. Next time. Back to plotting and planning – this weekend includes a Father’s Day celebration with legendary High Tea from the Mount Nelson in our living room. I plan to get out of my slippers and sloth wear for this special treat! I’ll be remembering my wise and loving dad who passed away five years ago. He never understood fashion, believing that his favourite (only) daughter required no more than a school uniform, pyjamas and a tracksuit. During lockdown, I have often wondered if perhaps he was right? Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads out there, if you are half as supportive as my dad was, you are doing a wonderful job!