This award-winning chef has walked the walk, through the Strandveld, in his red veldskoens, diligently researching local veld food, bringing it into his kitchen and developing a fresh approach to food with ingredients that are either newly discovered or have been ignored for generations. Although Kobus still oversees the menu, he recently cut the proverbial apron strings at Oep ve Koep to open Wolfgat in a beautiful heritage cottage at the beach, overlooking his hunting ground.
His new menu still showcases seasonal veld food and seafood of the West Coast, which he forages early each day from the edge of the sea and no meal is ever the same for Wolfgat patrons. Kobus's family sparked an interest in the use of forgotten foods and the importance of honouring the environment.
"My grandmother made things with seaweed and my father farmed in the Kalahari and we’d spend winter weekends picking wild cucumbers," he recalls. "My grandfather was a cattle farmer. His motto was 'you don’t farm with animals, you farm with grass’." But probably the most important catalyst for the development of his veld knowledge was meeting and collaborating with young botanist Rupert Koopman.
His beautiful cookbook, Strandveld Food, took a whole year to produce "because we wanted to document the seasons and the dramatic changes that happen in the Strandveld landscape.”