Director: Garnet C. Basson
At the Cape of Good Taste
Nestled in the fertile Paarl Valley, a mere thirty-minute drive from Cape Town, is the exquisite Grande Roche Luxury Estate Hotel, a legend of local hospitality. This South African gem is set on a gentle slope that overlooks vineyards and rugged mountains. The Hotel Grand Roche is in a class by itself, its relaxed elegance hosting travelers, business clientele and leading figures such as Nelson Mandela and the Jeunesse d'Orée.
The Paarl ("Pearl") Valley itself is redolent with the history of European culture, being one of the first regions of the Cape to be settled by expatriate French Huguenots and the Dutch over 300 years ago. To this idyllic environment, these early settlers brought both architectural and agricultural savoir faire. And they left their mark. Today, the lovingly restored XVIIIth century manor house is still the center-piece of a thriving vineyard where export grapes are grown to plump perfection.
Zlomke artfully pays homage to African culinary idioms
Zlomke's imaginative multi-ethnic creations, rooted in traditional South African cooking, are unusual. But then again, his career has been unusual! After solid German training and experience aboard noted cruise liners and at restaurants in Hong Kong and San Francisco, he took the culinary reputation of the Hotel Grande Roche in Paarl to the heights it enjoys today, through his total commitment and unwavering determination. With Frank Zlomke as chef since its opening in 1992, the hotel's noble Bosman's Restaurant has been awarded the coveted Relais Gourmand status, and four times has been granted a five-star rating from American Wine Magazine for having one of the best wine lists in the world.
What today is thought of, as South African cuisine is an interesting mix of the influences of Boer-Dutch, Indian, Malaysian, French and British cooking brought to the country by the descendants of slaves, migrant workers and settlers. Without doubt, the biggest influence is that of the Malayans, whose best-known dish is the casserole known as "bobotie," which originated in Java. If you flew first or business class on Lufthansa last November or December, you may have tasted this great creation consisting of meat loaf with curry, sweet-and-sour sauce, and spicy chutney made from dried fruit, that Frank Zlomke offered in the form of a samosa.
While maintaining his commitment to traditional Afrikaans cuisine, Zlomke nevertheless remains open to new influences on the food scene during his regular guest visits to various parts of the world. Food writer Lannice Snyman singled Zlomke out for being "one of a few seasoned cuisiniers who have proved that consistency and creativity are an awesome combination." In this spirit, Zlomke blends fresh ideas and unusual flavour combinations with classic tradition, using the Cape's best ingredients to fill his menu with beguiling temptations...
Hints & Tips