Meals at Schoone Oordt are made with love. Our country food is good, unpretentious and served with true Schoone Oordt flair and style. We source the freshest best quality produce from small local suppliers as organically and ethically as possible and we love picking fresh herbs and vegetables out of our own garden, or finding treasures at the local farm markets. It is our talented Chef Obakeng’s dream and passion to follow in his mentor, Chef Wander’s footsteps and to build The Conservatory into one of the finest of Swellendam Restaurants.
We asked Chef Obakeng to share the story behind his food journey:
“Food has been a part of my life for as long, as I can remember. “Feasts, mom’s Sunday roasts and family gatherings were major influences in becoming a chef and if I had not decided on this life journey, I would have been stuck behind a desk and been an accountant” (technically I am still good at numbers even though I hated maths in high school). This is what I think of when I look back to what made me decide to become a chef.
Born and bred in the beautiful city of roses (Bloemfontein), I grew up with a family that loves cooking and food brings everyone together. I remember the day that I came back from school and my late brother had made beef stew for dinner. The warm smell of the stew laced the entire house and I kept on asking him to tell me what he had put into the stew and he refused to tell me. Being a naughty boy I snuck into the kitchen one day while he was making that stew and I found out the secret ingredient. From that day, I think I knew that I wanted to be a chef and grow up to have my own restaurant. Graduated from one of the best Hotel Schools in South Africa with a Diploma in Hospitality Management specialising in Culinary (Central university of Technology Free State Hotel School) I take over from Chef Wander who has left a great food philosophy that I want to keep here at Schoone Oordt. This is good, honest food using ethically sourced produce from the Overberg region. We pride our food on being as organic as possible and no additives nor preservatives are used in our food.
The fondest memory of my career thus far has been the travelling that I have done. It is not as extensive as I wished for but it has had a positive effect on my career as a chef. Visiting countries like the United States of America, United Arab of Emirates and more recently Qatar played a tremendous role in shaping my skills set. Working with various ingredients, meeting people from other countries and experiencing different cultures just had a great effect on my life and I am grateful for it. A definite highlight during my travels was a brief meeting with world renowned Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton months before he opened his restaurant in Dubai and he shared valuable tips and advice on the industry and what it means to be a chef. A great moment indeed.”
Come and join us in The Conservatory for a Beautiful Breakfast or Delectable Dinner.