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With over 10 years experience in the culinary trade, new Executive Chef at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, Oliver Cattermole, is bringing an exciting global culinary flavour to one of the Cape's most romantic Winelands getaways.
Returning to Franschhoek, Oliver's culinary career reads like a tour of the world's greatest restaurants, including Michelin-starred Le Gavroche and the acclaimed The Ivy Restaurant in the UK as well as working as Sous chef at Jean Christophe Novelli's London restaurant, Novelli.
Having worked in the Far East on the luxury Silver Seas cruise liner, Oliver developed his passion for Asian cooking before returning to London and first gaining valuable experience working alongside Europe's culinary elite and under Christian George at Cannizaro House where he served as Executive Sous Chef in the esteemed Common Room Restaurant.
Oliver's move to Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, meanwhile, has brought him back to the village where his career began and is where he believes the hotel's Dish Restaurant will compete with the big names among the Franschhoek and Cape Town dining firmament.
Guests will also be able to look forward to an intimate dining experience at Le Verger Restaurant, set in an orchard over-looking the Franschhoek Mountains, as well as a new afternoon high tea menu.
“Working in the wine-lands requires food that is a little rustic but still elegant. In other words, perfect! My food style is modern British/European but in the Cape we have the added advantage of a massive variety of locally sources products as well as the freedom to grow a large number of healthy, fresh produce on the estate,” says Oliver referring to Le Franschhoek extensive herb gardens, lemon trees and abundance of fennel.
Along with some contemporary takes on classic, traditional French dishes, the new Dish restaurant menu will include Oliver's globe-trotting culinary influences not to mention the savour-faire of new cooking ideas which fuse alchemy with taste.
As such, dinners at Dish can expect, amongst others, starters of a salad of Roasted beetroots, feta and salted orange with pickled walnuts; ham hock terrine with mustard fruit and white bean purée and; a 36-hour cured beef with chicory cress-salad and ginger mayonnaise.
Main courses will include a Provence-style plum tomato tart with mascarpone, beetroot crisps and balsamic; dry aged beef fillet with beer braised onion barley and sauté kale from the garden; thyme roasted chicken breast with parmesan polenta and spinach puree and; a rump of Karoo lamb with minted mash and young carrots.
“I'm a big fan of “under-utilised” cuts of meat such as pork knuckle as well as fresh, “alive” vegetables and flowers from our garden,” adds Oliver.
dinners can complete their experience with one of the delicious desserts such as Pineapple Carpaccio with pineapple confit and black pepper yoghurt with its own brittle; Pimm's with a twist; Classic bread pudding with nutmeg ice cream and; Goats curd pannacotta with walnut soil and churned butter milk and beetroot pearls.
At the romantic, singular Le Verger restaurant, dinners can choose from a delicious selection of dishes, from an oak smoked salmon with fennel cream cheese and garden salad; the house BLT with salt and vinegar chips; Tandoori chicken kebab with cucumber lassi; a glazed rib-eye steak with chimmi-churri salsa and; ale-battered fish & chips with tartar sauce.
All of which promises dinners the best of both worlds - a feast for the eyes within Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa's spectacular setting as well as a voyage of taste brought to them by Chef extraordinaire, Oliver Cattermole.
Banqueting and conferencing and lunch buffet and braai menus are also available on request.