Braai buffs and grill enthusiasts joined celebrity chef Reuben Riffel for a baa-baa-licious celebration at the charming Bartholomeus Klip in the Riebeek Valley, when he fired up a feast for South Africa’s Heritage Day.
Set on one of the biggest wheat and sheep farms in the Western Cape that includes a 10 000 hectare private nature reserve, Bartholomeus Klip – a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town – it was the perfect retreat for one to get up close and comfortable with the gourmet side of the grill, whilst escaping the hustle and bustle with friends and family.
Reuben was joined by Bartholomeus Klip’s resident chef and author, Louise Gillett, to share sumptuous tastes and tricks straight from the open fire and together this blazing duo let guests in on a few smokin’ hot secrets to master this ultimate South African pastime.
Louise is a self-taught chef who has worked in top local restaurants and has extensive international experience. At only 27, Louise became the head chef at Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse where she was given the space, time and encouragement to refine and develop her skills and where today she still produces innovative and inspirational menus that reflect her love of cooking. Louise’s Italian heritage adds a Mediterranean twist to her locally flavoured dishes and her Gran’s biscuits are now a local legend.
Her philosophy on food:
Louise believes it is important to know where your food comes from, a job made easier since Bartholomeus Klip is surrounded by farms producing wonderful fresh produce like free range chickens, olives, lamb and buffalo mozzarella. With the Swartland as her supermarket, Louise supports the local area, preserving the feeling of community, building good relationships and strengthening the local economy.
Being spontaneous, Louise creates exciting menus bringing together the flavours, techniques and trends from her local and international experiences using seasonal ingredients. Robust, delicious dishes full of natural flavour and great attention to detail are what her guests enjoy with every meal.
“Seasoned ‘braaistros’ and roasting rookies were able to brush up on their skills and indulge in pure bucolic bliss while we celebrated our common heritage. It was a fun, carefree day out for the whole family fuelled with the excitement of the daily operations of a working farm,” shares Chef Louise Gillett, who sizzled with a few dishes from her award-winning cookbook, Life on a Cape Farm, on the day.
From venison wors, West Coast fish, award-winning wines, and kids running wild to weird and wonderful side dishes, gumboots, sun hats, and friendly chitchats at the long table. This Braai Day bash was hosted by Food Routes – SA’s first online Foodie Holidays and Tours specialist – and included interactive cooking demos by the chefs, a tantalixing array of produce unique to the area and a four course al fresco lunch.
Guests tucked into a hearty spread ranging from savoury appetisers to flame-kissed dessert delights – all and all a memorable indulgence.
Foodie firebugs were also able to flex their own braai-ceps on the day during a team challenge when various groups had to create a braai-inspired starter from a mystery box of simple ingredients.
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