Boschendal Farm, one of South Africa’s most iconic and loved working wine estates, is proud to welcome acclaimed South African chef Eric Bulpitt as its new executive chef.
Previously of Pierneef A La Motte, Faber Restaurant at Avondale Wine Farm and The Restaurant at Newton Johnson fame, he has worked with celebrated local chefs, including George Jardine and Bruce Robertson. He will lead the evolution of the Franschhoek farm’s dining experiences, drawing on the wealth of sustainably grown, locally produced ingredients from the farm as well as the surrounding community.
Theo Cromhout, CEO at Boschendal, is delighted at the esteemed addition, saying Bulpitt’s appointment is a major scoop for the farm. “Eric’s love of fresh local ingredients and deep connection to sustainably sourced South African produce aligns perfectly with Boschendal’s soil-to-fork ethos,” he said. “We look forward to seeing how Eric draws on his extensive experience to create exciting dining experiences that showcase the best of Boschendal’s rich bounty.”
Bulpitt, who draws inspiration from a childhood spent happily pulling vegetables from the ground at his grandparents’ farm, was drawn to the local farm’s respect for nature and its commitment to being custodians of the land for future generations.
“As a chef, I am most excited when guests experience joy through the medium of food,” he said. “By making fresh, seasonal ingredients the star of every dish, I believe in creating a powerful connection with every ingredient on the plate, providing a rich and unforgettable dining experience.”
As part of his development as a chef, Bulpitt spent a month stagiairing at Noma, a three-Michelin-star restaurant and five-time winner of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. “Noma opened my eyes and inspired me to look deeper at what I serve. There was a respect for every part of every ingredient, from the roots to the leaves and fruit, that I continue to explore in my own cooking.”
Boschendal’s The Werf Restaurant is renowned for its meticulously crafted, beautifully presented dishes that emphasise fresh, sustainably sourced local ingredients. Bulpitt intends to refine and evolve the phenomenal work that has already been done on the farm, finding ways for guests to experience the produce in new and exciting ways, with authentic flavours.
Authenticity is high on his agenda, both in the dishes he wants to make as well as the way produce is sourced. “Our menus will take a micro-seasonal approach, only featuring the best fresh produce available and showing respect for nature’s seasonality. I would also like to extend our supplier network to bring more suppliers into the fold that focus on sustainability, and who bring that focus to life in their produce in an authentic way.”
What can diners expect from the new Bulpitt-led dining experience at Boschendal? “Look out for strong flavours of umami, with a focus on vegetable-based dishes. I think vegetables have immense potential for flavour development, even more so than meat. My team can also expect to see more flowers in the kitchen. I just love walking through the vegetable garden picking flowers and finding interesting ways to incorporate their colours and flavours in our dishes.”
For more information about dining at Boschendal, visit www.boschendal.com.