On a quick visit to Hermanus last week, I was lucky to meet Chef Warwick Taylor, previously of Creation, where he was extremely popular and created excellent dishes which were paired with the Creation wines.
I had not received any notification of Chef Warwick’s departure from Creation earlier this year, but had seen references to a new Chef Jaco Grové at Creation. On enquiring, I heard that Chef Jaco had taken over from Chef Warwick.
Through a stroke of luck, I received the Twitter handle of Chef Warwick via another fan of his, and was able to set up an appointment to meet him at his new restaurant in the Hemel & Aarde Wine Village. He has taken over the space of what was previously Biga, and Season before that.
Chef Warwick has a food consulting company called Concepts and Flavours, with which he contracted to supplying the food at Creation. He emphasised that he had a good relationship with Carolyn Martin of Creation, but decided that the time had come for him to ‘do his own thing‘ and to build up his own business. He had been at Creation for 2½ years. He mentioned wife Anita, who looks after Human Resources, and Accounting, having a background in 5-star accommodation, including the Michelangelo hotel in Johannesburg. Chef Warwick enthused about Chef Ryan Shell, previously of Haute Cabriere, and now with Vergenoegd, having worked together in the past.
I arrived when the builders were actively working away in the large space, floor tiles being laid, painting the walls a stone ( off-white) colour, repainting the wooden sections, to give the restaurant a clean-cut modern look. Wooden tables will be painted charcoal, new chairs have been ordered, and lighting will be in light blue. There will be a Deli section, with leather couches, where one can read newspapers. Here they will offer preserves, pickles, breads, and more. Chef Warwick enthused about the ‘phenomenal‘ wood-burning oven, which they took over from the previous restaurants, for baking bread, and preparing pig’s heads, and pork bellies.
The name SOURCE represents finding the right ingredients, and buying it for a reason. Chef Warwick is very excited about a very big space (he described it as tennis court size) behind the kitchen, in which he wants to create a vegetable and herb garden. He said that he wants to do things right from scratch, and is therefore spending more time in getting the restaurant building in perfect condition, serving ‘nice food in a relaxed atmosphere‘, creating a restaurant which can ‘compete with best restaurants in Stellenbosch‘. It will be an ‘attentive yet informal restaurant‘. Menus will be printed on recycled paper, and will be flexible to print in the last minute, if they have ingredients to add or remove. The menu will be presented on a bamboo board.
Chef Warwick told me that they will serve wines from Hermanus, Stanford, Elgin, Bot River, and Strandveld. He showed me the floating wine racks which they are planning to use.
I asked Chef Warwick about his menu, and he told me that he has ‘thousands of ideas’ for his menu, focusing on slow cooking with depth of flavour. Some of the dishes include pork belly, braised brisket, short rib, and smoked tomatoes. I asked him about desserts, and he mentioned that has favorites are Crème Brûlée, a cheese course, and a hot chocolate dessert. Chef Warwick said that there will be many menu surprises to come. They will serve Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, and can seat 60 patrons inside and 30 outside.
SOURCE, Hemel-en-Aarde Village. Hermanus. Tel (028) 125-0025. Website under construction. Twitter: @ConceptChef @SourceHermanus. Facebook. Opens 1 June. Monday – Saturday Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter: @WhaleCottage Facebook: click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein