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Double Michelin-starred Belgian chef Piet Huysentruyt will soon open a pop-up restaurant at The Conservatory on Happy Valley Road.
The pop-up restaurant is a visiting version of Huysentruyt’s Likoké Restaurant in Les Vans in France’s Rhône Valley. Huysenstruyt says that “Everything at Likoké has always been about a story, about roots, soul and emotion and art.” With this philosophy a ‘standard’ pop-up restaurant as a way to keep busy during the French winter simply wouldn’t do and eventually developed into a world tour – “just as a rock band would do.”
Their first destination was Huysenstruyt’s native Belgium, followed by stopovers in Japan, Indonesia and Singapore. Franschhoek is the restaurant’s last and only African stop before heading back home. The restaurant team is being followed by a TV crew, writer and photographer with a view to publishing a book about their culinary world tour.
Huysentruyt attended the Ter Duinen Culinary Institute against his parents’ wishes. He went on to work at some of Belgium’s and France’s most prestigious culinary institutions before opening his own eponymous eatery in the late 1980s. His efforts were rewarded with a Michelin star in 1994.
True to his rebellious nature his cuisine became famous for revolutionary combinations of noble ingredients and offal. When he published his first book, with food photographer Tony Leduc, it was appropriately titled “Contemporary and Stubborn”. It was also the first time in history that the phrase “ food porn” was coined!
Feeling misunderstood and underappreciated Huysentruyt closed his first restaurant and went on to become a celebrity TV chef – creating more than 20 cooking shows and selling more than 4 million books along the way.
Likoké welcomed its first diners in 2013 and received a Michelin star a mere five months later. The Gault et Millau Restaurant Guide awarded it three toques later the same year as well as its Discovery of the Year accolade. Today the restaurant is ranked 39th on the WBP Stars World’s Best Restaurants List.
The African stop on Likoké’s world tour has particular emotional significance for Huysentruyt as his restaurant carries the nickname his father was given in the Belgian Congo. Huysentruyt says Likoké’s core values reflect his family’s roots in Africa, his love of southern France’s terroir and his hardscrabble past in Belgium where he learned to appreciate the uniqueness of simple products.
The Boutique Gallery will be supplying artworks to compliment the space at the Conservatory for the duration of the pop up. ‘Large Mute” by sculptor Samuel Allerton and pieces by internationally acclaimed Belgian artist Isabelle Scheltjens, (exclusively represented by The Boutique Gallery in Africa) currently exhibiting in Paris, Dubai, New York and Saint Tropez will be on show.
Likoké in Franschhoek will be open from Tuesday to Saturday, between 28 February and 15 March. It will be located at The Conservatory on Happy Valley Road.
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Franschhoek based sculptor Samuel Allerton off to Congo
As part of his research for his upcoming solo show, Franschhoek based sculptor, Samuel Allerton, will be visiting Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the sole purpose of witnessing some of the last of the critically endangered mountain gorillas in their natural jungle habitat. This will provide Samuel with the opportunity to observe the gorillas first hand and experience their mannerisms, habits and characters in a way that will directly inform the creation of works that are authentic and based on his experience.
Samuel is working towards a solo sculpture exhibition, which will open towards the end of 2018, that focuses on these majestic primates and the uncertainties that face their future survival. He has long been obsessed with these gentle giants and their powerful presence in both nature and our collective imaginations. Furthermore using the gorilla as a metaphor for nature as a whole, Samuel highlights the immense power but also total fragility of the natural world. He has a clear message that the future of our planet really does depend on us and how hard we fight to protect it. This particular series of sculptures drives home how intricately linked our souls, as humans, are to nature.
Although the works will be heavily inspired by the gorillas the sculptures will draw more on what the gorillas embody rather than literal recreations of them. Using humor, popular culture references and iconic imagery combined with traditional and primitive forms and mark making – the work becomes complexly layered and at the same time accessible to a wide audience on many levels. The combining of animal and figurative elements highlights the co-dependency and complex symbiotic relationship we share with nature.
Besides the works which will be cast in bronze Samuel is also committed to using materials which are sustainable and environmentally friendly, replacing toxic resins with greener alternatives.
Sam hopes that through this work he is able to contribute to the conservation of the gorillas and many other animals by raising awareness and encouraging eco-tourism to some of the most beautiful and other-worldly places on the planet.
The gorilla solo exhibition will be opening in October in Johannesburg and in November in Cape Town. Samuel’s work will also be traveling to galleries in Belgium and France.
For more information on a trip to Virunga visit www.atelier-africa.com
The sculptures of Samuel Allerton can be seen at The Boutique Gallery in Franschhoek and Camps Bay.
More information kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org
Trio of Treats: Grand picnic, bubbly & oysters
Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate embraces true South African wine heritage, excellent food at The Restaurant and luxury accommodation at The Owner’s Cottage and La Provençale. Grande Provence offers guests The Winery, The Jonkershuis, The Gallery, The Sculpture Garden and The Shop.
Adding to its popular fine dining and wine tasting experiences, Executive Chef Guy Bennet invites you to enjoy a delicious and relaxing country-style picnic under the majestic oaks in beautifully landscaped Grande Provence gardens.
The Grand Country Picnic basket is filled to the brim with artisanal cheeses, local charcuterie, mushroom & feta quiche, smoked Franschhoek trout parfait, house-made preserves, olives & roasted nuts, freshly baked bread, a crisp estate garden salad and decadent Valrohna chocolate brownies. These are all rounded off with a bottle of Grande Provence wine.
Lovers of bubbly and oysters are in for a treat! Grande Provence has introduced the ultimate tasting experience of their trio of vibrant Méthode Cap Classiques and fresh West Coast oysters. In celebration of the new range of Grande Provence MCCs, Executive Chef Guy Bennett has created a signature oyster pairing for each of the three elegant bubblies, served from the oyster bar under majestic oaks in the estate’s magnificent Sculpture Garden.
All three MCCs are crafted in the timeless French tradition using only the best quality free running juice from whole-bunch pressed grapes. To create the fizz, the blended base wines undergo a second fermentation in the bottle. Once fermentation has been completed, the wine is matured on spent yeast cells, known as the lees, for an average of 13 months in the case of the Brut and Rosé MCCs, and at least five years for the Vintage Brut.
The shimmering Grande Provence Brut MCC, a beautifully balanced blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is paired with an oyster with pickled daikon, a locally grown Asian style radish, and a soy & sesame dressing.
Teeming with fresh red berry flavours and a pale salmon hue from a dash of Pinotage, the enchanting Grande Provence Brut Rosé MCC is paired with an oyster enriched with homemade wasabi mayonnaise and spring onion.
Chef Guy’s pièce de résistance for the flagship Grande Provence Vintage Brut 2011, is another pairing with a delightful Asian twist. By adorning the oyster with tiny yuzu pearls, made from the juice of the fragrant oriental lemon fruit, he has added a burst of refreshing citrus to uplift the complexity and rich mousse of this elegant blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The MCC & Oysters 3-Ways Tasting is available daily from 12h00 until 17h00 at R160 per person. The oysters are shucked directly from the Grande Provence oyster tank and garnished freshly for your tasting at the oyster bar in the garden.