‘edgy, modern minimalist cuisine’
It’s all about the edge. On the edge of Somerset West there is a glass promontory where lauded chef Gregory Czarnecki has for a decade been exhibiting cutting-edge cuisine. His vision has remained the same, but the execution keeps evolving. Classically trained, and French by origin, it is his quest for always adding, in his words, ‘an odd element’ to a dish. Gourmands call it adding another dimension.
The canvas for his art is simple, a white cloth, unadorned. Every aspect of the degustation menu that is served on it, is what will steal your eyes away from the never-ending vista of vineyards that stops at the ocean. His philosophy centres on elegant restraint, on rather removing an ingredient than adding one that may be superfluous, to best showcase the produce. Produce is indigenous and premium, like the organic Waterkloof wines that are carefully paired with each exquisite dish.
After a delicate array of amuse bouche your culinary adventure will officially begin. Expect your heart to stop when dishes like the grilled langoustine with bouillabaisse and confit kumquats are served. It is a good representation of Greg’s personality and philosophy. The idea came to him, like many, simply as a grilled langoustine to be married with a fish soup. The ultimate creation is one that is memorable, balanced and like many of his dishes, brilliant. Look out for cheese making a guest appearance along the way rather than as a separate course. His grass-fed beef fillet with broad beans and Époisses is a crowd-pleaser, showing his finesse, but explained in his words, as ‘steak and cheese’. The Belnori Chevre with guava, hibiscus and Tourteau Fromager is an ode to a simple, after-school snack served by his mother. The ‘cake’ has a blackened crust which protects the moisture in the cake, the guava is served in a silver tube, and the hibiscus jelly and circle of cheese with specks of gold, are anything but simple.
The foundation of traditional French cooking has remained as he works on achieving complexity without ever overdoing it. The only excess is in the jaw-droppingly generous and varied serving of fine petit fours, with the bon bons that Greg has become famous for.
Address: Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West, Cape Town, 7130
Contact: 021 858 1491