Yesterday I met with Chef Oliver Cattermole and his wife Becky for coffee in Franschhoek, to hear the latest details about their first self-owned restaurant Bovine, which opens today in two weeks on Franschhoek’s main road.
We started off our chat by taking about the choice of name, and it is very cleverly thought through. The word makes one think of cattle and cows in particular, reflecting dishes containing meat, milk, cheese, and other dairy products. Breaking the word down, it contains ‘vine’, apt for their location in Franschhoek. They will only offer local Franschhoek wines. The ‘BO’ beginning of the word is a combination of the letters of Becky’s and Chef Oliver’s names!
On Monday the exact location of the restaurant will be announced on this Blog, it being a currently-operating restaurant, and they will take over the kitchen and waitering staff. Becky will handle Operations in the back-of-house.
Chef Ollie left the Leeu Collection at the end of last month, as their Executive Chef. He emphasized that the fine dining offering in Franschhoek is saturated, and that Bovine will offer quality lighter and casual meals. It is intended as an all-day eatery, opening at 11h00, until closing time in the evening, at which one can order something to eat throughout the day. Chef Ollie will be serving the foods that he likes to eat at Bovine.
‘Craft’ is a key focus, not only in his food preparation, but also in stocking Woodstock Brewery craft beer. As much as one can taste a flight of their beers, one will also be able to taste Black Elephant Vintners’ wines in the restaurant. Local Gins will be offered, as well as Jorgensen’s vodka, and a tequila made in the Karoo. Coffee will be by Terbodore.
The menu will offer six burgers with a choice of meat types (beef, lamb, chicken, ostrich, pork), made with brioche rolls and home-made pickles; nachos; tacos; steak; seven bar snacks; fish and chips; and more.
We traced Chef Ollie’s career from his first beginnings as an intern at Haute Cabriere, working with its then-owner Matthew Gordon. From there he moved to the UK, and worked at Michelin star Le Gavroche, owned by Michel Roux Jnr. Other UK restaurants at which Chef Ollie worked were The Ivy, and Maison Novelli, leading him to work on the Silver Seas cruise liner for six months before returning to Novelli. He met Becky at Woodlands Park Hotel, whereafter he moved to Wimbledon, joining the Cannizzaro Hotel and Bistro. A holiday in our country in 2010 led to the decision to move to Cape Town. Chef Ollie joined Newmark, doing great work at Dash restaurant in the Queen Victoria Hotel in the Waterfront, which is where I first met him. The Le Franschhoek Hotel followed, and then he worked with Chef Peter Tempelhoff to open Mondiall in the Waterfront. He spent the last three years at the Leeu Collection in Franschhoek, building up the restaurants at Leeu House and Leeu Estates from scratch.
Chef Ollie has built up a loyal collection of suppliers which he will continue using, including Good Hope Butchery, Sacks Butchery, Boschendal Butchery, Gordon’s Bay Fisheries, and Cape Seafoods.
Bovine Restaurant will be closed on 1 and 2 February for staff training, and opens on 3 February. Small scale changes and renovations will be carried out after opening, without affecting patrons. In winter the restaurant plans to close for a month, for renovations to the kitchen. A Locals’ loyalty card is planned.
POSTSCRIPT 22/1/18: It is official: Chef Oliver Cattermole will be taking over the space of Dutch East, to be renamed Bovine, from 1 February.
Bovine, 42 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek. Cell 072 426 7964. www.bovinerestaurant.co.za Twitter:@Bovine_za Instagram:@ BovineRestaurant Monday to Sunday, from 11h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein