5 Minutes with Steenberg Farm's Executive Chef, Kerry Kilpin
Executive chef of Bistro Sixteen82 and Catharina's Restaurant at Steenberg Farm, Kerry Kilpin shares her foodie favourites.
In line with our March/April 2019 Trends Issue, we're exploring what's hot right now – from decor and dining to colours, materials and architecture – with our #21DaysofTrends round-up. And one trend that has really caught our attention this year is how women in food are, quite literally, taking over the kitchen, with Studio H's recent FOOD XX celebrating women in the food and drinks industry in the best way possible.
ALSO READ: 10 Female Food Businesses to Watch in 2019
One such woman in food is Steenberg Farm's executive chef Kerry Kilpin, who is at the helm of the Constantia wine farm's two eateries, Bistro Sixteen82 and Catharina's Restaurant. Describing her dishes as 'contemporary classics with a twist', Kilpin is known for combining her love of local ingredients with unexpected ingredients and flavours inspired by her trips abroad. This experimental approach has seen her create a complementary 'mystery tastes experience' at Catharina's Restaurant, where lunch and dinner guests are exposed to exciting taste offerings including sumac, sea buckthorn, yuzu, samphire and ras el hanout, to name but a few.
We sat down with Kilpin to get to know more about her interesting background and food (and drinks) favourites.
5 Minutes with Kerry Kilpin
Did you always want to be a chef?
From a very young age I always wanted to cook. I thought I would go into pastry, because I loved to bake. After my first week at Silwood School of Cookery, I changed my mind and knew the hot kitchen was for me!
If you were a food, what would you be?
What's the oddest (or most memorable) dish you've ever tasted?
I wouldn’t say it’s odd, but more unknown. In South Africa, it's known as pencil bait and washes up on the beaches in the Eastern Cape. So I only knew it as bait my father used when fishing. Until I ate razor clams in Spain, it was one of the most delicious plates of food I have ever eaten. So simply done with garlic, butter and parsley, but definitely one for the memory bank!
What tastes remind you of your childhood?
Pineapples. I grew up on a pineapple farm in the Eastern Cape. I’m a pineapple farmer’s daughter!
Do you have a secret talent?
I rode horses my entire childhood and competed provincially for six years.
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The hustle and bustle of a very busy restaurant – fun service with happy guests and a happy kitchen. There is nothing better than the feeling of it all running like a well-oiled machine!
And if you could change one aspect of your job, what would that be?
Less admin and more cooking!
Which part of the world should every serious food-lover visit?
I don’t think anywhere in particular. Every destination has something new and exciting that you can learn and take home!
What ingredient can't you get enough of?
What's your current favourite restaurant?
Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia.
And your current favourite drink?
The Cape Town Gin The Pink Lady. It’s so delicious and I love to drink it with friends, which makes it that much more enjoyable!
What would your last meal – and last drink – be?
A roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings – cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes, gravy... and a glass of delicious Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc.
For more information about Kilpin's mystery tastes experience, follow #DiscoverTaste on Instagram.