A West Coast odyssey

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‘Kobus is a unique modern-day hunter-food-gatherer who carefully sources special ingredients and does his magic with them. He is not only a food lover and creator of delicious tastes, but also ‘master of the pen’. – Renata Coetzee. 

Strandveldfood is not just a recipe book. It’s a collection of snapshots, in pictures and words, of a year’s worth of cooking, eating, plant-hunting and photographing the Cape West Coast, built on a foundation of five years’ worth of exploration and discovery.

Kobus van der Merwe honours the beautiful and rugged landscape of the West Coast with an offering of delicious, seasonal recipes. Jac de Villiers’ photography perfectly captures what makes the region so inspiring and just how deftly Kobus has turned his muse into culinary magic.

Fittingly, recipes are presented by season, taking you on a journey through the limestone and granite Fynbos region that stretches from Postberg in the West Coast National Park, past Langebaan, Saldanha, Jacobsbaai and on toward Stompneus Bay, ending at St Helena Bay. Traditional Strandveld foods like bokkoms and snoekkuite, as well as some twists on old favorites like melktert ice-cream demonstrate Kobus’ loyalty to creating authentic but contemporary recipes.

RECIPES INCLUDE: Red Pepper Gravlax, Sweetcorn ice cream, Mussel soup with beach sage, Snoek pate, Fig and olive pot bread, Rooibos tea and tomato consommé, Roosterkoek, Springbokbobotie, White fish pickle, Masala beetroot salad, Gooseberry frozen yogurt, Springbok boerewors tartare and Strawberry ice cream with nasturtium and beetroot.

KOBUS VAN DER MERWE was born in the Kalahari and raised in the Boland. Spending his childhood travelling between these two dramatically different locations, he nurtured a love for the South African landscape, its people and unique plant kingdom. Following a half-hearted attempt at culinary school, a diploma in media studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and a handful of years as web editor for a restaurant magazine, Kobus finally found his groove as country chef in a tiny kitchen in Paternoster on the Cape West Coast. He was named one of South Africa’s Top 200 Young People by the Mail & Guardian in 2014.

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