If there were a competition for unassuming, affable cooks in the winelands, Dale Stevens would be a dead cert. All-round nice guy and downright talented chef, Stevens has been in charge of the pass at Faber for only 18 months, but he’s quickly stamped his identity on the menu at this contemporary country restaurant on Avondale wine estate outside Paarl.
The focus is firmly farm-to-fork, with produce picked daily from Avondale’s extensive organic gardens. The farm’s pasture-raised chickens, ducks, and Angus cattle also make their way onto plates Stevens dubs “simple, seasonal, stylish, and stimulating to all the senses”.
In season that could mean seared free-range duck breast and celeriac pureé. Perhaps aged flat-iron steak with cauliflowers and caramelised leeks from the garden. Paired with the estate’s biodynamic wines, Faber offers a fine taste of the winelands.
JEWELL'S RESTAURANT AT THE SPICE ROUTE
Spice route, on the flanks of Paarl Mountain, has upped the culinary ante with the opening of Jewell’s Restaurant. The new space is a collaboration between three hugely accomplished chefs: small-plate maestro Liam Tomlin of Chef’s Warehouse fame, charcutier Neil Jewell, and talented baker Tina Jewell.
The menu is compact, five choices for starters and mains, with Cape flavours given an upscale twist. Throw in superb winelands views, and you’ll discover why this new outpost has fast built a loyal following.
• From the December edition of Wanted 2019.