Chef Eric Bulpitt joined the Pierneef à La Motte team earlier this year, and brought with him a fresh interpretation of the heritage cuisine that the Franschhoek restaurant is celebrated for.
“We are passionate about our heritage and in keeping with the international trend, the focus at Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant will stay on heritage cuisine and an authentic food experience. It is, however, time for a fresh interpretation and Chef Eric’s creativity and bold authenticity will introduce traditional cuisine to guests in a brand new way”, says La Motte CEO, Hein Koegelenberg.
“We would like to create an unforgettable wine farm experience,” says Chef Eric Bulpitt when asked what he would like to achieve at the restaurant. “Our food is simplistic elegance, unobtrusive but precise, welcoming but executed to the highest standard using world class technique. We believe that less is more and to make local and Southern African ingredients do the talking.”
So, what can diners expect from Chef Bulpitt’s interpretation of heritage cuisine? “In a country with such cultural diversity, heritage is a broad concept,” says Chef Bulpitt. “We have widened the idea of winelands cuisine to incorporate the culinary heritage from the rest of the country and even influences from our Southern African neighbours. This amalgamation of culinary culture is where we get our inspiration – from the authenticity of traditional cuisines. There is a lot of emphasis on heritage, but at the same time, the style of the food is very modern.”
Together with his team, Chef Bulpitt will be focusing on seasonal ingredients and looking for ways to enhance and celebrate the local produce through a variety of different techniques. He elaborates: “We would get overgrown carrots from a neighbour, for instance, and butter roast them until soft and browned, then serve them with fermented carrot juice, white carrots, black garlic and carrot flowers. A delicious dish that has no distinctive ‘heritage’ other than that it is a local product that we all grew up eating but using technique to make it our own.”
“Another dish would maybe take its inspiration from our French heritage in Franschhoek. Roasted wood pigeon, braised endives, pigeon crepinette and local truffles,” he continues. “Yes, you heard me right – local truffles! There are three farms growing truffles in South Africa and it is an absolute delight to be able to use these prized ingredients from our own soil.”
One of the changes at the restaurant is that it will no longer be open for dinners, unless booked for large groups or events. “To enjoy and appreciate the real beauty of La Motte, one must experience it by day, the beautiful surroundings, gardens, magnificent trees, dappled light, water streams, mountains…” says Chef Bulpitt of the decision. “This natural beauty and the variety of wine tourism experiences are at the essence of the Franschhoek Valley’s charm. We have a culture of sharing and we would like our guests to spend their time enjoying the whole La Motte Experience, from wine tasting, to the events around arts and culture, the architecture, landscape and of course, cuisine.”
Making the most of the gorgeous setting, there will now be two lunchtime options at the restaurant. Inside the restaurant and on the water deck, the sophisticated à la carte menu showcases elegant and seasonally-changing starters, mains and desserts. Each dish comes with a pairing suggestion from the restaurant’s award-winning wine menu, which features both current and older vintages of La Motte’s wines, an interesting selection of local and international wines, as well as Franschhoek Méthode Cap Classique.
The Garden Menu, which will be available from October until Easter, invites guests to enjoy a more relaxed dining experience under the oak trees or on the stoep. The informal lunch menu features unique South African tastes such as Cape curries, mosbolletjies, biltong, curry lamb kebabs, and cinnamon pancakes, with confectionery and pastries on offer from La Motte’s Farm Shop.
For more information on La Motte, click here to visit the website.