The award ceremony was held in Paris where the iconic restaurant Wolfgat, Paternoster bagged two prestigious wins one for being ‘the restaurant of the year’ and the other for ‘best off map destination’
Wolfgat is very much driven by its chef-owner and catering college dropout Kobus van der Merwe. “I didn’t complete my course [because I was] determined not to end up cooking in an industrial hotel kitchen,” he explains. “I dropped out and went travelling.” He eventually came home and ended up working as an online journalist for South African publication Eat Out, but in 2010 he left that job and Cape Town behind to run his parents’ country store in Paternoster.
The restaurant currently only books 20 diners per sitting – part of the restaurant’s goal of staying sustainable.
Drawing inspiration from the surrounding landscape and its dramatic seasonal transformation, Kobus van der Merwe’s signature Strandveld food menu comprises a series of tasting dishes presented in seven courses.
Sustainable seafood, local lamb and venison, and seasonal veldkos is featured, enhanced by wild herbs, seaweeds from the local rock pools, and pickings from the garden.
Some of the elements on the tasting menu take weeks of preparation, while other ingredients are handpicked on the day for the exact number of bookings received.