The view from restaurant Wolfgat in Paternoster, South Africa, winner of the Restaurant of the year award and the Off the map destination award in the first edition of the World Restaurant Awards, which took place in Paris on the 18th February (photo Sartor)
It was quite intuitive ofIdentità Golose to invite Kobus Van der Merwe, patron-chef at Wolfgat, at Identità Milano in 2017. A few days ago, the south African chef received in Paris the Restaurant of the year award and the Off the map destination award from the World Restaurant Awards. It was a brave decision as this restaurant is in a small fishermen’s village, an hour and a half from Cape Town and it is a truly alternative place.
We dined at Wolfgat only a few nights before, completely unaware of the clamour the restaurant would experience only a short while later. That night Kobus was in the kitchen with his brigade of 6 people for 20 guests. Seeing him at work was thrilling. The chef, who only started to cook at 30 (he’s now 39) is a very shy and kind person, quite the opposite to what we’re now used to think of chefs. The simple fact he was there, cooking in front of us, was almost unique in a world where chefs have become brands and disappear from the kitchen. Despite his appearances on TV, Van der Merwe is still a simple Afrikaans guy, with a strong connection to the territory of the West Coast and its products.
Kobus van der Merwe portrayed by Brambilla/Serrani, Identità Milano 2017
The staff (photo Instagram)
Crispy leaf of nasturtium
Cuttlefish, cauliflower and salicornia
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