STRANDVELDFOOD

S T R A N D V E L D F O O D JAC DE VILLIERS

S T R A N D V E L D F O O D PRODUCED BY KOBUS VAN DER MERWE & PHOTOGRAPHED BY JAC DE VILLIERS

INTRODUCTION 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. We’ve captured everything strictly seasonally over the course of one year – the exact, sometimes back-to-front, way that the seasons occur on the West Coast. Strandveld, in this instance, specifically references the speciality 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. On their own, the words ‘strand’ and ‘veld’ are also applicable to the kind of food that this book presents: naturalist, modern country cooking with a strong connection to the land and ocean. During our exploration of the unique Saldanha Strandveld region, two locations stood out: Stofbergsfontein on the Langebaan Lagoon, and Paternoster on the Vredenburg Peninsula – two very different places that both represent the West Coast so beautifully. Both have historic value as original fisherman’s villages; both possess beautiful scenery, typical and unexpected; and both places face the modern-day South African challenges of socio-economic problems, and the ‘threat’ of industrial development. It is an incredibly inspirational corner of the world to live and work in, not only because of the breathtaking landscapes, incredible plant life and dramatic seasonal metamorphosis. The Strandveld’s singularity also lies in its unique architectural style, unexpected quirks, its inhabitants with their typical turn of phrase and, of course, its distinctive delicacies. I hope you enjoy this seasonal food journey with us. KOBUS VAN DER MERWE Paternoster, Winter 2014 During the past 30 years, Churchaven in the West Coast National Park has become a second home to me. The allure of the area lies in the dramatic seasonal transformation of its flora. After early winter rains the March lilies (Amaryllis Belladonna) produce bushes of lush green leaves, only to wither during the dry summer months when the plants seem to die. In early March long straight stems, joined to clusters of bright pink bell-shaped flowers, rise gloriously through the dry sand. After a short bloom the flowers shrivel up and pop their reddish translucent seeds onto the soil. Taking photographs is an exciting affair while working with someone who shares and complements one’s visual sense and attitude. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. In this respect it was a joy to work with Kobus on this food book. To quote Ernest Hemingway, our Strandveldfood shoot was ‘a moveable feast’. This eBook is a collection of my favourite photographs from Strandveldfood, produced by Sunbird Publishers. Any of the images in this publication can be ordered as prints from me via my eMail: jac@jacdevilliers.com JAC DE VILLIERS Cape Town, May 2014

On 18 February 2019 The World Restarant Awards judged Kob

bus van der Merwe’s restaurant to be the best

S U MM E R Hot rocks on the outcrops of Cape Colombine

Here comes the sun ~ Maasbanker bokkom, pan- toasted farm bread, apr i cots , black cof fee

f Seeberg in the West Coast National Park Gifbol (Boophane haemanthoides)

Rooibos-steamed crayfish and tomato consomme, see lettuce, borage

Paternoster

Paternoster

Seaweed, ginger and Kabeljou bouillon, mussels, summer greens g The lighthouse at Cape Columbine

Limpets and sea lettuce

Limpets in their own shell

Maasbankers in snoeksout f Rock salt, Cape Colombine

A salt pan at the foot of Kasteelberg at dusk

Salted mullet drying in Bokkom Lane, Velddrif

Kasteelberg viewed from the northern foothills

Melktert ice cream

Wheatfields alongside the R45 – the road to Paternoster

An old harvester still in use near Kasteelberg

Roosterbrood

Red pepper gravlax

Bobbejaanboekie (Daubenya zeyheri)

Hedwig Slabig, wild food guru and Paternoster legend Soutslaai (Mesembryanthemum guerichianum) g

Chenin blanc, its flavour profile

March lilies (Amaryllis belladonna), Churchhaven, West Coast National Park

Saldanha Bay mussels, smoked angelfish, wild garlic

Oysters and samphire, cape gooseberry, lemon basil

Lichen, Cape Colombine

A U T U M N Bobbejaanboekie (Daubenya zeyheri)

Stofbergsfontein, West Coast National Park

The Saldanha Strandveld ~ Cape Colombine

Gifbol (Boophane haemanthoides)

Kelp forest

Black olive pasta leaves, salt-dried snoekkuite, sea lettuce

f Salt-dried snoekkuite Modderbaai, Paternoster

Snoek pâté, spekboom and cape gooseberry chutney

Bekbaai, Paternoster

Seekoraal (Salicornia spp.) on the banks of the lagoon at Stofbergsfontein, West Coast National Park

Stofbergsfontein ~ piekelvis, peach mebos, chilli grape jam, red cabbage

Smoking beetroot-cured ostrich over glowing wild sage

Seeberg ~ smoky beetroot-cured ostrich, samphire, pomegranate, !nara

Autumn leaves ~ Swartland fig, bread and autumn herbs

Springbok and kapokbos, wild rosemary salt, moskonfyt, !nara

Bokkoms on toast ~ breaded maasbanker bokkom, poached egg, dune spinach

Mussel soup with beach sage

Lichen, Cape Colombine

Fig and olive pot bread

Paternoster

Smoking angelfish over rooibos tea leaves

Snoekbobotie

Lichen on the rocks, Cape Colombine

Maasbanker nasi lemak ~ bokkom, peanut, spicy tomato, coconut, soft egg

Tea-smoked angelfish with sweet mustard sauce like a full moon rising, mosbeskuit and wild radish

Full moon rising, Cape Columbine

W I N T E R

Bokkoms

Strandveld milk and honey ~ honey and buttermilk ice cream, fennel granola, wild sage blossoms

Springbok sosaties Stofbergsfontein g

Chimney, Stofbergsfontein f Pickled white mussels with boerbeskuit and avocado

f Bokkoms drying Stofbergsfontein ~ Oom Louis Caswell, Stofbergsfontein h

Ouma Barsby, Stofbergsfontein

Aunt Joey Lloyd, Stofbergsfontein

Veldkoolbredie g Namakwakool (Trachyandra falcata)

The herb cycle

Flaminkvis | Mock flamingo ~ stuffed calamari, raw nasturtium “Chicken legs”g

Flamingos in flight over the Langebaan Lagoon

S P R I N G The heliotropic reënblommetjie (Dimporphotheca pluvialis) in overcast conditions

Kabeljou curry with klipkombers and sea lettuce chutney

A quagga at Postberg in the West Coast National Park

Blue wildebeest on the shores of the Atlantic ocean at Tsaarsbank, West Coast National Park

Kasteelberg ~ A mid-Holocenic hunter-forager’s ‘surf and turf’

White fish pickle, soutslaai, wood sorrel, citrus Brakslaai (mesembryanthemum crystallinum) in a field of stinkkruid (Oncosiphon suffruticosum) g

Bobbejaantjie (Babiana ambigua)

Klipmosselbobotie African Sacred Ibis, West Coast National Park g

Blue Crane Katnaels, (Hyobanche sanguinea) g

Jac’s nettle soup (or Rash encounters with a hostile herb)

Askoek

Postberg, West Coast National Park

Eland, Postberg, West Coast National Park

Springbok boerewors tartare

Springbok liver parfait f Slangbessies (Lycium ferocissimum)

Lunch with friend and botanist, Rupert Koopman

jacdevilliers.com Soutslaai (Mesembryanthemum guerichianum)

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