Kerry Kilpin is the Executive Chef at Steenberg, in charge of both Tryn and Bistro 1682 restaurants on the wine estate. She was selected as one of the 2021 Cape’s Top 10 Women Chefs, and receives a bottle of Adhara Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Heading up one restaurant is a challenge in itself, but heading up two restaurants and that during a pandemic which affected the restaurant industry the most through its constantly changing Lockdown regulations regarding alcohol sales, operating hours, and restaurant capacity, reflects Chef Kerry’s strength as a manager as well as a chef.
We salute you Chef Kerry!
We asked Kerry some questions to get to know her better:
Short summary of your career to date
I grew up on a pineapple farm in the Eastern Cape. From a young age I loved baking and used to bake cakes for the farm workers’ children. I went to boarding school and started baking cakes to sell to my class mates when I came home on the weekends. This instilled a passion for food in me. When it came to decide on what career I was going to choose baking was the obvious one and I applied to Silwood Kitchen in Rondebosch. It was here that I really fell in love with food and cooking and I haven’t looked back since. In my 3rd year of studying I worked under Franck Dangereux at La Colombe. Franck went on to be my mentor for 12 years and really instilled a passion and love for food. In 2014 it was time to spread my wings and I took up the position of Head Chef at Bistro Sixeen82. In Mid 2018 the Head Chef at Catharina’s left and I was asked to take over Catharina’s restaurant as well. Catharina’s was revamped and launched as Tryn in September 2019. I currently am Steenberg Executive Chef looking after both Bistro Sixteen82 and Tryn restaurant.
What has been the best thing about Lockdown for your restaurant and your cooking ?
It has taught us to be so adaptable, if you don’t adapt you won’t make it.
What has been the worst thing about Lockdown for your restaurant and for your cooking?
The constant up and down. One minute things feel like they are getting back to some form of normality and then you are blindsided by another ridiculous decision which is out of your control. You just learn to “roll with the punches”.
Are you planning to change anything in your restaurant/cooking in the year ahead?
Continue to build on the wonderful restaurants we have at Steenberg and get them back on the tourist map once travel opens fully.
Congratulations Chef Kerry Kilpin for leading by example, for being a woman role model, and in being one of the women in management at Steenberg.
Steenberg is setting a commendable example of honouring women during this Women’s Month, through an empowerment program of activities, reflecting the feisty first owner of Steenberg, Catharina Ras. One of the two Steenberg restaurants is named after her nickname Tryn. Details of how Women’s Month is being celebrated at Steenberg follow below:
‘Steenberg celebrates inspiring women during entire month of August
In honour of a proud legacy of inspiring women spanning more than three centuries, Steenberg Farm has dedicated Women’s Month to the empowerment of female entrepreneurs and celebrating the diversity of South African women.
The present-day, women-led management team, inspired by Steenberg’s indomitable founder, Catharina Ras, who broke ground in the Constantia Valley in 1682 on the country’s very first registered farm, is hosting a month long #WomenInspired initiative.
The programme encompassing every aspect of Steenberg Farm – the winery, restaurants, and hotel & spa – applauds the magnificence of women by supporting empowerment, entrepreneurship and enhancing confidence.
To promote female entrepreneurship, guests visiting Steenberg during the entire month of August will be able to contribute towards the upliftment work of The Clothing Bank, the chosen NPO beneficiary of #WomenInspired. A portion of the proceeds of selected wine purchases and dining at Bistro Sixteen82 and Tryn Restaurant, will be donated to this worthy cause. Changing lives for the last eight years, The Clothing Bank helps self-motivated unemployed women chart a path out of poverty by becoming self-employed business owners.
The support of business startups culminates with a vibrant market for women entrepreneurs on the lawns of the Steenberg Manor House from 10h00 to 18h00 on Friday, 27 August. Steenberg has invited 30 local women-led businesses to sell their innovative creations including clothing, jewellery, stationery, home décor and accessories. Spend the day browsing and lazing on the lawn with friends while tucking into delicious Tryn eats and sipping fine Steenberg wine.
Mindful of the trying times of the past year and the uncertainty of what lies ahead, women in need of some breathing space are invited to join one of Steenberg’s carefully considered morning confidence classes. These inspiring classes on the Manor House lawns include Pilates on Thursday, 12 August, Self-defence on Wednesday, the 18th, and Yoga on Wednesday, the 25th from 09h30. The ticket price of R150 includes a refreshing smoothie at Tryn.
Steenberg’s patronage of contemporary South African art, tangible in every facet of the property, has dedicated Woman’s Month to two prominent local female artists with an exhibition in the Tasting Room. Works by Frances Goodman represent self-expression and empowerment, while Ruby Swinney’s paintings are more ethereal depicting the precariousness of human existence within timeless landscapes.
Celebrating the courage, confidence and fearless spirit that continue to inspire the new generation of Steenberg women who follow in Catharina’s footsteps, a dinner showcasing the crafts of Cellarmaster Elunda Basson, Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin and Catherine Schulze, General Manager of Steenberg Hotel & Spa, will be held at Tryn on Thursday, 26 August. The dinner at R500 per person includes three courses, all paired with Steenberg wines, a welcome cocktail, amuse bouche and Tryn’s signature truffles.
For more information or bookings for #WomenInspired activities throughout August, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit https://www.steenbergfarm.com/womeninspired-this-womens-month/ or follow @SteenbergFarm on Facebook and Instagram.
Bistro 1682 and Tryn, Steenberg Farm, Constantia, Cape Town. Tel (021) 713-7178 www.steenbergfarm.com Instagram: @steenbergfarm @kerrykilpin
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whaletalesblog.com www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide