Oep ve Koep (at Die Winkel op Paternoster)
Kobus is a young, environmentally conscious chef who is creating a name for himself as a purveyor of west coast flavours. He includes local veldkos (wild food) in his menu.
Phone 022 752 2105
Treasures of the coast
“It’s really not the time of year for veldkos”, Kobus says leading us towards a sad looking soutslaai plant in Tietiesbaai. “In July/August, before the spring flowers are out, that’s when this landscape is at its best. That’s when we can harvest veldkool.” Instead we head of to the water’s edge where the softly spoken young chef shows us various edible seaweed, and the edible samphire plant. “This is a halophyte – a plant that survives on salt water. They’re starting to farm it in dry areas like Namibia, and using it to make bio-diesel”.
Kobus and his family have only been in Paternoster area since 2009 when his parents bought Die Winkel, Paternoster’s farm stall. He was working in Cape Town at the time in the media world, but decided to give it up and bring the ‘tea garden’ at the shop back to life. Having had some prior chef training, it was the perfect opportunity for him to get back into it slowly, taking his time to experiment with traditional west coast flavours.
Learning to create an identity
“I’ve been lucky to have the local knowledge of people like Hedwig to learn from. She’s taught me so much about the local veldkos.” He’s also been learning from a botanist he befriended from Cape Town, and using the local flavours in his menu. Successfully – Oep ve Koep, as it’s become known, is getting quite the reputation amongst foodies around the Cape.
Kobus doesn’t serve much meat on his menu. Fish is a regular feature, though being sensitive to environmental issues he only serves sustainable species. That hasn’t diminished the variety though – Kobus is creative and has replaced endangered harder with maasbanker for his own take on bokkoms. He does interesting things with seaweed too – including creating beachscapes on a plate, and stuffing and pickling kelp.
Dune spinach and bokkoms were on the menu the day we visited, and both dishes impressed our taste buds. If you’re looking for some local flavour in the Paternoster area, look no further than Oep ve Koep.
Kobus also writes an excellent, image-laden blog http://www.sardinesontoast.co.za/
Kobus gathering sea lettuce on Paternoster beach
Yum! Sandveld potato dumplings, dune spinach, mushrooms, pine nuts, parmesan
A young sea lettuce (the green strand)
Hmmm.. sea salad!
Samphire - an edible plant that survives on salty water
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