The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal is proof of what bounty can be on offer if a chef and farm work with nature to regenerate and restore. Under the leadership of chef Christiaan Campbell, the restaurant shows what it really means to use local, seasonal, ethically sourced ingredients. This hard work has earned the restaurant the 2018 Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award, as judged by Sonia Mountford of Eategrity, Karen Welter of the Longtable Project and Pavs Pillay of WWF-SASSI.
“Christiaan paved the way for sustainably-minded chefs long before it became a trend,” says Sonia. “He not only understands the connection between how our food is grown – including how livestock is treated, human health and the health of the planet – but he also actively pursues ways to advocate for the principle of respect.”
A family-style meal at this award-winning restaurant. Photo supplied.This philosophy is deeply embedded at Boschendal. The farm employs regenerative farming practices that enrich the soil and promote biodiversity in the kitchen garden, vineyards and surrounding vegetation. The small menu that changes daily depends on the day’s harvest and creativity of the chefs. The team makes cheese and yoghurt on site, and the Black Angus grass-fed beef is farmed on the estate and broken down at their own butchery to limit wastage and champion nose-to-tail cuts.
If it’s not from the farm, it’s from a like-minded neighbour in the Franschhoek valley. Any element on the plate can be traced to a spot of land no more than 150 km from the restaurant. It takes real confidence to start a meal by serving a ‘garden salad’ consisting of nothing but a baby carrot and its leaves, plucked that morning and drizzled with a piquant dressing. Such is the quality of the produce here.
The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal is an example worth following. “Christiaan has been a chef ahead of his time – and still is in many ways,” Sonia concludes.