Chef of Majeka Kitchen, Lucas Carstens celebrates hyper-local ingredients that give his dishes a distinct taste and texture of the Cape. He sources nearly all of the produce for his contemporary cuisine from within a 20-kilometre radius of his Stellenbosch kitchen.
His menu reads like a guide to foraging edible plants, from dishes featuring wild amaranth, spekboom and sea lettuce to traditional ingredients such as amasi being used in new and innovative ways.
Many ingredients are also grown in Majeka Kitchen’s garden; and different seasons deliver different taste sensations—from nasturtiums, Swiss chard, gooseberries and basil to Vietnamese coriander and lemon verbena.
Dishes are treasures to be discovered, layer by delicious layer. Fire-roasted beetroot is concertinaed and served with mushroom and kelp. Unctuous Black Angus beef brisket is a melt-in-your-mouth discovery under crisp, featherweight parsnip and macadamia.
His mantra is to choose only the best and brightest: “Produce inspires me more than any other component of a dish. It’s really whatever fruit and veg are in season that gives a dish its character and context.
“In Stellenbosch we are surrounded by small-scale ethically-minded farmers who are keen to have working partnerships with chefs and they take their roles seriously in bringing fresh and often unfamiliar flavours to the plate.”
A: 26-32 Houtkapper Street, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch.