A talented and mainly South African team, headed by Capetonian Chef Jean Delport, has retained its Michelin star at Restaurant Interlude in the UK for the second year in a row.
Jean Delport is one of the few South Africans, and one of the youngest to win this accolade. He is a member of a team of chefs from Benguela Collection that is increasingly gaining international recognition, working within Penny Streeter’s wine and hospitality group. It includes Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate and, in the UK, Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate and Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens.
Jean says that guests at Restaurant Interlude in West Sussex include many South Africans, who often become regular customers. The restaurant is set in the historic, Grade I Listed woodland gardens of the Leonardslee Estate – which is also where he forages many of the seasonal ingredients for his extensive tasting menu of as many as 21 courses. The venue also serves a selection of fine wines, including from South Africa – and Benguela Cove of course.
Annie Badenhorst is the executive chef at Benguela’s Moody Lagoon Restaurant and has developed her own loyal following of lunchtime diners, keen to enjoy her imaginative take on a range of dishes, notable for its use of fresh local produce.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, when restaurants were closed, Annie created a series of popular cooking videos, free on the internet, so those trapped at home could still enjoy her recipes; quick and easy to prepare, she says, and mainly cooked on a braai and paired with a choice of Benguela Cove wines.
These include: De-Boned Leg Of Lamb Paired With Lighthouse Syrah, Grilled Bread With Beef Short Rib And Benguela Cove Collage, Thai Green Curry Paired With Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and Pineapple & Passion Fruit Cake And Joie De Vivre.
Recipes and videos can be found at www.benguelacove.co.uk/blog/wine-tasting-webinars. Moody Lagoon is open for brunch Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am to 11:30am, and for lunch Wednesday to Sunday 12:00pm to 03:00pm.
What’s on at The Cove
The new artist in residence at Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate is Christina Du Plessis. The theme of her art creations is ‘Finding Purpose in a New Season’ and details about Christina and her visionary work are available on the estate’s website. There is free entry, no booking is required, and the exhibition is open for public viewing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Christina is also tutoring a one-off art class, ‘Wine and Create’, on Saturday, May 1, from 11:00am to 1:00pm. It is designed as a fun, interactive session, with wine tasting and a charcuterie pairing experience. Art materials and canvas are included in the cost for the two-hour session at R350.
Finally, singer Ard Matthews provides the live music entertainment in the courtyard on Saturday May 15, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. As the frontman of South African band Just Jinjer, his lyrics and melody arrangements will be familiar to many from their debut album title ‘All Comes Round’.