Chef Adriaan Maree heads up the kitchen at Fermier in Pretoria.
Julia Lloyd sits down with Adriaan to discuss his favourite ingredients and wine as well as that one time he ate an insect or two.
1. Do you have any mentors?
Yes of course. I’ve had the opportunity to work with great SA chefs like David Higgs and Peter Tempelhoff, and in the UK with Claude Bosie. I have taken everything I could from them, and they have only been a positive influence.
2. Do you have a specific style?
Not really a specific style but our philosophy is to let the ingredients shine – fresh ingredients treated well and cooked well.
3. Have you had any accidental successes?
Fermier, but not without a lot of hard work from the team and people like Ockie Britz who have put in long hours to make the restaurant a success.
4. Your favourite ingredients?
Definitely fish. Freshwater marron, oysters are always a winner and really any fish, it doesn’t matter which. As long as it’s fresh you can make something amazing out of it.
5. Any signature dishes?
Not really a signature dish. Our menu changes seasonally and we have a lot that we are proud of.
6. Your favourite wine?
Mount Abora Koggelbos Chenin Blanc, with Charles Fox Blanc de Blanc MCC a close second.
Take a look at our favourite local bubblies.
7. What do you like to eat when you’re at home?
Shana my long-time partner is not a great cook but makes a mean Croque Monsieur.
8. Your favourite restaurants?
It depends on the occasion. For a special occasion The Restaurant Waterkloof in Somerset West. For coffee and a croissant, Lucky Bread in Pretoria.
9. Your fantasy food holiday?
Definitely South America (all of it from north to south). It has something we are not really exposed to here in South Africa, where the ingredients and local cuisine are different from region to region. There’s so much to learn from such diversity.
10. What are the essential ingredients in your kitchen?
Salt and fresh produce.
11. Are you an adventurous diner and if so, what’s the most unusual food you’ve eaten?
I have eaten ants and even tried crickets, but it was a long time ago and I don’t remember where I ate them. What I do remember is that I did not like them.
12. Is there anything you won’t eat?
Yes crab. I am allergic to it and will die.
13. What would be your last supper?
It’s a bit of a morbid subject as I don’t like to think about the end that much. So, crab. I’ll go out with a bang.
Read our full Country Chef interview with Adriaan in our May issue, on shelf from 15 April 2019.
Ever wanted to know how to make dried tomatoes at home? Adriaan shows us how in the video below.
Corner of Albeth and Lynnwood Road
141 Lynnwood Road
+27 (0) 76 072 5261
Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7pm
Words Julia Lloyd
Photography Francois Pistorius