We were very proud to launch the Cape Winelands Cookbook today at a function at La Motte. What really makes this book so special is that it is the first time in the history of South Africa that such a complete and detailed traditional recipe book of the food of the Cape Winelands with historical, scientifically based recipes is published.
It was a daunting task finding these recipes, researching them into their finest detail and then adjusting them to work for modern day living as many of these recipes have never been published before.
La Motte’s culinary manager Hetta van Deventer, assisted by Pierneef à La Motte Chef de Cuisine Chris Erasmus and Sous Chef Michelle Theron, have done a fantastic job in bringing this book to life.
A press released in conjunction with the launch of the book gives some background:
“The first and oldest recipes were brought to the Cape by European settlers during the seventeenth century after Jan van Riebeeck, commander of the Dutch East India Company, settled in the Cape in 1652.
“Tasked with establishing a halfway station between Europe and the East to supply fresh victuals to ships passing the southern tip of Africa, fresh food was one of the most important reasons for the establishment of a community in the Cape. Europeans who joined Van Riebeeck, most of whom were Dutch, German-speaking, Flemish and French, brought the influences of their European cuisine as well as Middle and Far East herbs and spices.
“Many of the French Huguenots who came to the Cape, settled on farms such as La Motte in Olifantshoek (later renamed Franschhoek) and also introduced a wealth of recipes to Cape cooking. Chefs at the Cape had to improvise and adapt their recipes in accordance with available ingredients, which set the table for creativity in our local cuisine.”
The book is published by Human & Rousseau and is available from major book stores and the La Motte farm store.