South African chef Bertus Basson (photo Instagram)
After a long apprenticeship in London with Bruce Poole and a low-profile start back at home, South African Bertus Basson became one of the most famous South African chefs for many good reasons.
Bertus, a lovely person, worked hard to get where he is now, and he has nothing of the arrogance shared by many of his colleagues. Born in Cape Town, but raised in rural South Africa, he draws his culinary inspiration from his Afrikaner roots. His first restaurant, Overture in Hidden Valley was recently joined by another high end restaurant, Eike, in the centre of Stellenbosch. In both cases the cuisine is deeply Afrikaner, starting from the names of the dishes: Souttert (a sort of quiche), Plankievleis (grilled meat), Pampoen Poffertjiies (pumpkin pancakes) and so on. The culinary journey he offers, however, makes it worth the while to understand the names of the dishes and the ingredients, and it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the other local restaurants that mostly offer fusion cuisine.
Restaurant Overture, in Hidden Valley (photo bertusbasson.com)
Eike opened very recently in Stellenbosch (photo bertusbasson.com)
Like every celebrity chef, Bertus went on TV, but he participated in programmes that were in line with his background: The ultimate Braai Master (a BBQ contest) and another couple of programmes, strictly in Afrikaans. Aside from his top two, the chef has four more restaurants. The Deck@Hidden Valley shares the same address as Overture: it’s a very casual and scenic terrace, where you can enjoy organic burgers.
Quesadilla lamb ribs, crispy cabbage, radish and coriander (photo Instagram)
Strawberry dessert (photo Instagram)
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso
The food world in and near Cape Town told by Giovanna Sartor
Born in Venice though she then lived in Milan, in January 2010 she moved to Cape Town. In love with South Africa, her dream is to produce Prosciutto San Daniele here, sooner or later