The Marine Hotel in Hermanus is celebrating World Vegan Month (November) with a new, plant-based menu created by Executive Chef Rudi Blaauw. Part of The Liz McGrath Collection, The Marine is one of South Africa’s most spectacular seaside hotels and is a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
The 1st of November is recognised globally as World Vegan Day to mark the establishment of the Vegan Society in 1944. It was in those early days that the phrases ‘vegan’ and ‘veganism’ were first coined. Now, more than 70 years later, the benefits of veganism for humans and the natural environment are widely known and chefs all over the world are preparing creative vegan menus to meet the increasing demand from health-conscious diners.
Newly appointed as Executive Chef at The Marine’s famed Origins Restaurant, Rudi Blaauw says he focuses on the quality of the produce, letting that shine and allowing creativity to follow. Blaauw brings with him extensive experience gained at two Relais & Châteaux properties, including five years as Executive Sous Chef at Delaire Graff Estate’s famed Indochine Restaurant in the Cape Winelands, followed by his most recent tenure as Executive Chef at Ellerman House in Cape Town.
The vegan a la carte menu at The Marine includes options such as Tandoori cauliflower steak with spiced black lentils, sultana relish and chickpea crisps; or Quinoa & baby beetroot salad with apple, walnuts, fennel, mustard vinaigrette and celery as starters.
For main course diners may choose between Ancient grain risotto with roast pumpkin, arugula, pomegranate seeds, pecorino and broccoli; Grilled baby kohlrabi, artichoke gratin, miso velouté, baby fennel and heirloom tomato; or Spinach, sweet potato, chickpea dhal, coriander raita, tomato salsa and poppadums. A selection of vegan-friendly wines is available for perfect pairings.
A choice between a selection of Sorbets with seasonal fruit and coconut gel; or Coconut frozen gateau with date & pecan crust and pina colada gel, ends a light, healthy and delicious meal on a sweet note.
2021 saw the dawning of a new era for The Liz McGrath Collection with the appointment of talented new head chefs at each of the three hotels. This has raised the culinary bar within The Collection to the point where The Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia (Cape Town), The Marine in Hermanus, and The Plettenberg in Plettenberg Bay, are now individually recognised as gourmet destinations in their own right, offering world-class dining in unique settings that are nothing short of breath-taking.
As proud members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, each of the three 5-star hotels boasts a unique location, intriguing history, splendid design, and amenities and services that are second to none. They are known for their individually designed, sophisticated interiors, the most luxurious accommodations, award-winning gardens and the warm South African hospitality which has always been synonymous with The Liz McGrath Collection.
Tronette Dippenaar has been appointed as Executive Chef at The Cellars-Hohenort restaurant, The Conservatory in Cape Town. It is her first appointment as Executive Chef, and a continuation of a celebrated career within the Liz McGrath Collection, having worked at each of the three sister-hotels over the past 13 years. Her charismatic and energetic approach to food and service inspires her team as they work on seasonal offerings, as well as the much-loved, signature dishes that include the founder, the late Mrs McGrath’s famed Boland Cheese Soufflé with Gin Cheese Sauce.
She says her food philosophy may be summarised as ‘fresh is best’. ‘My menu is uncomplicated and unpretentious, and my dishes are full of flavour. I stay true to South African cuisine, which I like to present with a modern twist. Growing up on a farm gave me a deep appreciation of produce and where it comes from, including the time and effort invested into growing nutritious vegetables and fruit.’ She chooses a hearty, meaty dish as her favourite on the new menu at The Conservatory. ‘Taste of the Overberg’ is proudly South African, comprising lamb served three ways: slow braised lamb shoulder; grilled cutlet of lamb; and pulled leg of lamb; served with silky, creamed potatoes, minted pea puree, baby carrots, ratatouille, black garlic and lamb jus.
At the The Marine Hotel in South Africa’s whale-watching capital, Hermanus, newly appointed Executive Chef Rudolph Blaauw is in charge of the kitchens at its famed restaurants Origins and The Pavilion. He brings extensive experience gained at two Relais & Châteaux properties in South Africa.Paying homage to its spectacular seaside location, The Marine supports ethical fishing and buys from local fishermen who catch fish by the line. ‘My new menu is inspired by our suppliers and the local produce. I like to have stories attached to dishes and create a menu that’s exciting for diners, but also for our chef team too, encouraging them to experiment with flavours and learn new techniques’, Chef Blaauw says.
Starters include fresh seafood, whilst main courses are divided into specialities from ‘The Sea’ and ‘The Land,’ with dishes highlighting the produce of the Overberg area. Rounding off the menu is a selection of mouth-watering desserts, including the chef’s personal favourite – Wesley’s Fynbos Canelés de Bordeaux with Madagascar vanilla ice cream and honey gummi bears of the region.
Further along the coast on the famed Garden Route, Kyle Macaskill has been promoted to Executive Chef at Plettenberg Bay’s landmark boutique hotel, The Plettenberg. He has worked his way up the ranks within The Liz McGrath Collection, having spent the last eleven years in the kitchens of sister property The Cellars-Hohenort.
Macaskill says he finds it deeply satisfying to create art on a plate. ‘I enjoy experimenting with food and my aim is to execute the perfect marriage of flavours, using local produce to create dishes that will entice the senses. From sight to smell to taste, I like to create a memorable experience for the diner, leaving them wanting to come back for more.’
The Restaurant at The Plettenberg is renowned for its ocean bounty, drawing inspiration from the rich marine life that can be found in Plettenberg Bay. New signature dishes include Klein Karoo springbok loin with fynbos cream potatoes, red cabbage marmalade, slow-roasted baby tomatoes, field mushrooms, string beans and a port reduction, or Sesame-encrusted Norwegian salmon served with black garlic risotto, citrus rocket salad, umami beans and an orange-teriyaki reduction.
Dining at any of the three hotels within The Liz McGrath Collection, guests have the opportunity to enjoy modern South African cooking with menus that cater for all tastes, including vegetarian and vegan options. Expert wine pairing is available too, featuring an extensive selection of South Africa’s top vintages, as well as some international favourites.
Reservations are also invited from non-resident guests for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as well as High Tea and picnics.