Modern menu of fresh, farm food
The middle of this month sees the opening of a brand-new dining destination in the Breede River Valley on BOSJES Farm, close to Ceres. An 18th-century, Cape Dutch manor house on this family owned, protea and fruit farm has become the historical, architectural counterpart to the modern lines of the estate.
It’s a quintessential country kitchen with a simple, modern menu of produce-driven fare to enjoy with a glass of locally produced wine or a freshly squeezed juice. Surrounded by meditative gardens, the glass-walled chapel’s flowing white roof appears to float serenely in a reflection pond. A five-bedroom guesthouse, ideal for wedding parties, completes the transformation of this farm into a chic country retreat. On offer are teas, lunches and a venue for celebratory occasions with an inspiring view in this beautiful valley sandwiched between the Witzenberg and Slanghoek mountains. It’s ideal as an easy, scenic day trip, just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
Well-known South African celebrity chef Pete Goffe-Wood has brought his fuss-free approach to menus and considerable hands-on experience and expertise. As the consultant chef for this exciting new venue, Pete’s brief was to create the feel and ambience of a rustic, farmhouse kitchen, or ‘kombuis’. “It’s as close to home cooking as you can get, but considerably more refined,” he explains.
The opening menu features an easy, familiar line-up of old favorites with a local twist, such as fresh salmon trout fishcakes served with an avocado salad and homemade lemon mayo; a generous grass-fed beef burger, topped with camembert, caramelized onions, and bacon; or lamb cutlets with jewel-bright tabouleh salad and fresh cucumber raita. “You won’t find any fussy plating here – no smears, nipples or foams – just honest, artisanal food prepared with heart,” adds Pete.
Day to day, this unique property is in the capable hands of executive chef Kim Cox, who has accrued valuable experience setting up and working in kitchens on farms, most notably Eight Restaurant at Spier and the Deli at Boschendal. She also opened the former Bacon Bar at Le Quartier Francais.
“The relaxed, inviting setting lends itself to delicious, seasonal, modern, comfort food,” explains Kim, who is obsessed with locally sourced ingredients that ring true to her philosophy of supporting ethical farming, pasture-reared animals, naturally or organically grown vegetables, and SASSI green-listed seafood.
“I admire what the owners want to achieve in this forgotten corner of the Breede River Valley,” concludes Pete. “There’s no ego involved. It’s simply a family who wants to provide a platform to showcase the best of the valley, from its people to its produce.’