Take A Seat At Chef Mynhardt Joubert's Table
As a celebrity chef and KWV ambassador, chef Mynhardt Joubert opens up his kitchen and hosts remarkable events at his home in Paarl.
It is easy to be fascinated by the life of a top chef. They work outside the realms of a routine nine to five, creating culinary works of art under intense pressure that we get to experience at their establishments. While we can eat their food, it is not enough to gain insights into their world. And we can't help but wonder what they are like outside of this setting.
We can read up about chefs and their lives, but there is something very special about learning these things first hand. And fortunately for us, one of the country's top chefs has now created a space where you can do just that. Celebrity chef and KWV ambassador Mynhardt Joubert has created a space in his home in Paarl, where you can go and enjoy a delightful menu prepared by him and learn more about his passion for food.
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The Stasie Street Kitchen is an intimate space located under the eaves of Chef Mynhardt's loft apartment. Here he hosts intimate gatherings of 10 to 30 people, where he shares memories that touch on his childhood and travels, through a carefully curated menu. When booking a lunch or dinner at Stasie Street Kitchen, all you do is give Chef Mynhardt a head count and dietary requirements, and he takes care of the rest.
We were fortunate enough to experience a lunch themed around French artist Claude Monet, and the event was delightful from beginning to end.
Walking into the living space of a well-known chef can be intimidating, but from the moment you walk up the succulent-lined stairs to Stasie Street Kitchen, you immediately feel at ease. The space radiates warmth and friendliness, and is full of Afrikaans hospitality.
Filled with light, greenery and colour, the loft has an open kitchen on one side and a long table on the other – so you can see Chef Mynhardt and his team at work throughout the meal. The walls are adorned with personal photographs, classic and quirky art, and fun ceramics made by Chef Mynhardt's husband, Ian Engelmohr.
In addition to crafting the menu, Chef Mynhardt does all his own decor. He created the most incredible table settings to fit the theme of our event. Having decided to 'channel Monet' after a trip to Russia, where he explored his love of Impressionist art, he chose to focus on Monet for the lunch, as the artist loved food and considered it one of the most important components of a full life – a philosophy shared by Chef Mynhardt.
To bring the theme to life, the table was set with place mats that had images of Monet's paintings on them. A variety of fresh flowers were placed in the centre of the table, giving the sense of an Impressionist painting come to life. There were also cards on the table with facts about Monet, his thoughts on food and why he was inspired by it. It is these little details that make the whole experience extra special.
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Before we sat down to have lunch, we enjoyed drinks in the sitting room. There were G and Ts, bubbly, oysters and salmon served with sour cream on a savoury crumpet.
Then came the lunch itself, which was wonderful. Every dish looked like a piece of art, and you could taste the love and care that went into making it. We started off with a beetroot panna cotta served with cherries and asparagus. Chef Mynhardt is particularly fond of cherries, as they remind him of his childhood home in the Free State.
Next was a delicious dish of salmon and prawn baked in a mouth-watering bisque. The fourth course was pig cheek served with creamy polenta and roasted baby carrots, and finally, we got to tuck into a deconstructed white chocolate cheesecake, served with macarons and nougat.
The meal was paired with KWV's Cathedral Cellar wines, which feature a new augmented reality label that is a real treat. Simply scan the label in the LABELinmotion app on your phone, and winemaker Wim Truter pops onto your screen to tell you more about the wine.
Chef Mynhardt Joubert
The fact that you get to enter Chef Mynhardt's home is a treat, but the best thing about the experience is how open he is. All the personal touches make you feel as if you are visiting an old friend. Chef Mynhardt allows you to come into the kitchen and see how he and his team do things if you would like to do so, and every dish has a story or meaning behind it that he explains with so much enthusiasm, you can't help but be drawn in by it.
Chef Mynhardt is continuing the Impressionist experience (as well as many others) at Stasie Street Kitchen. 'Like art, a good meal can trigger many emotions. A plate of food only lasts for a short time, but the feeling associated with that plate of food lasts. At Stasie Street Kitchen, I only create meals that last a very long time, hopefully forever', he says.