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 DE VILLIERS Cape Town, May 2014