Kobus serving some of his guests.

Kobus serving some of his guests.

The salty tang of fresh kelp lifts on a crisp breeze, across the cream-colored sands of Die Krans in Paternoster, once the lookout for fishermen monitoring the weather. Kobus van der Merwe stands on the verandah of his sparse 20-seater restaurant, a 130-year-old fisherman’s cottage called Wolfgat, about two hours from Cape Town, overlooking this point. Seated here, you’re meters from the shore, where fishermen pull in their wooden trawlers filled with the day’s catch and lovers stroll hand-in-hand before sunset. A snack arrives in the form of a fleshy vivid green soutslaai leaf, harvested just outside Kobus’ farmhouse, folded like a taco and filled with slivers of cured angelfish and watermelon. The leaf releases an ocean-spray and is tempered by the silky lemon-spiked fish and the chilled sun-sweet melon. This is what Kobus calls “strandveld kos” – or food from the beach and field. “We only pick species that grow almost “weedy” and abundantly, taking only shoots or leaves, always leaving the plant and roots intact,”Kobus says.  Seasonal, thoughtfully foraged ingredients unique to the West Coast Fynbos Biome or Saldanha Strandveld find their way onto plates that replicate the beach surrounding Wolfgat– the frothy waves, succulent, sometimes hardy mollusks, salt-rich stems and leaves of beach scrub; even heritage beans that grow in the sandveld interior adjacent to the coast and, occasionally, lamb from nearby Elandsbaai that graze on the Verlorenvlei lake shores.

 

Read the full article here https://www.ishaygovender.com/chefs/kobus-van-der-merwe-forages/


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