It’s not every day you get to cook a meal on the beach with one of your favourite chefs, but I was lucky enough to experience exactly that after a recent art holiday in Paternoster. The chef du jour was none other than Suzi Holtzhausen from Gaaitjie Restaurant. And what better way to end off a week of R-and-R-and-Art than by spending a day foraging and cooking with a personal food hero?
I love the food at Gaaitjie and have described it before as ‘highly skilled love on a plate‘. There are no pretenses, which I find particularly refreshing – flavours combine with reason, textures serve a purpose and it’s all put together with a delicate touch. Still, I was intimidated at the thought of meeting the chef.
When 2015 rolled around I hit the ground running. Work was crazy with a lot of time spent on the road. I’d barely caught my breath when March arrived, and with it, an art holiday I’d booked last year with Ajay’s Art. I wasn’t in the mood for spending yet more time away from the office, my home or my comfortable routine, but I’d paid and there really was no way out of it. Reluctantly, I packed my bags and set off for Paternoster.
From the moment I met hosts Andre (Ajay) Jacobs and his partner, Hesther, I started to relax. Their attitude was casual and laid back, yet everything had been organised well in advance – from the accommodation and restaurant bookings, to art supplies and schedules. I soon realised that all that was expected of me for the next seven days was to show up, relax and learn, which is exactly what I did.
Known for its laid back locals, breathtaking vistas and superb food, Paternoster is the perfect destination to escape the madness – which is what I did in early November last year. My mission? To eat my way through town, one restaurant at a time. What follows is my selection of Paternoster’s prime pozzies:
The Noisy Oyster: 022 752 2196 – 62 St Augustine Road, Paternoster
Dinner at the Noisy Oyster should be appreciated with company. The place is warm and inviting and the staff almost over-the-top about making you feel at home. Frayed 30 Seconds cards lie scattered on the tables, the menu is tongue-in-cheek and every scatter cushion I’ve ever discarded in a fit of modernist rage has found its way here.