Pierneef à La Motte introduces new Chef de Cuisine

Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant has appointed a new Chef de Cuisine.

On 1 May 2014, Michelle Theron, who has been part of the restaurant since it opened its doors in 2010, took over the reigns as Executive Chef from Chris Erasmus who has resigned to pursue the dream of his own restaurant.

Passionate about traditional food and dedicated to sourcing sustainably, Michelle fits the profile of the restaurant with its focus on regional Cape Winelands cuisine to a T. “Together with La Motte’s Culinary Team, Michelle has been an integral part of the initial research and recipe development for Pierneef à La Motte as well as our Cape Winelands Cuisine cookbook and we are delighted and excited to now have her heading the kitchen”, says La Motte CEO, Hein Koegelenberg.

Michelle’s interest in all things culinary started as a young girl growing up in a typical South African home where daily activities were planned around mealtimes and produce came from a backyard garden. Her curiosity was fueled by culinary literature and her admiration for chefs such as Margot Janse, Clare Smythe and Elena Arzak. After her culinary studies, Michelle cooked at various restaurants in the winelands as well as Cape Town, all contributing to her canny ability to express traditional flavours in a modern and on-trend execution. This skill promises exciting times for Pierneef à La Motte restaurant, listed by the 2013 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards as one of South Africa’s top ten restaurants.

Patrons to Pierneef à La Motte can expect a menu with delicious modern interpretations of traditional Cape Winelands flavours. A highlight on the seasonal menu is the deconstruction of a true-Cape Winelands chicken pie, presenting the traditional flavours and textures as a Free-range Cape Winelands chicken with preserved lemon, fig saucisson sec, quail’s egg, white wine and preserved lemon sauce. Dishes such as Textures of beetroot – fresh, pickled and roasted with double-baked goat’s cheese soufflé and Smoked snoek tortellini with grapefruit, red pepper, braised greens and smoked sweet potato are further examples of Michelle’s creative interpretation of traditional and seasonal ingredients.

Textures of beetroot – fresh, pickled and roasted with double-baked goat’s cheese soufflé.

Regular guests to La Motte will be familiar with Michelle’s beautiful confectionery in the Farm Shop. Now her flair for pastry is also evident from a dessert selection that includes an innovative take on a South African favourite; Milk-tart with cinnamon gel, honey ice-cream and puff crumble and pretty-as-a-picture Lemon and thyme marshmallows with poppy seed tuilles.

Lemon and thyme marshmallows with poppy seed tuilles.

An excited Michelle says: “This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I can’t wait to use the amazing ingredients we have on our doorstep to tell the story of Cape Winelands Cuisine. I hope our guests will find it as irresistible as I do.”

For more information on La Motte, please visit www.la-motte.com or call us at +27 (0)21 876 8000.

For restaurant reservations, please contact us at +27 (0)21 876 8800 or pierneef@la-motte.co.za

Notes to editor:

Pierneef à La Motte’s newly appointed Executive Chef, Michelle Theron, kicked off her new challenge with a culinary visit to Europe. Between 8 and 18 May, Michelle cooked in Michelin Star restaurants in the Netherlands such as ML Haarlem, Chapeau!, De Bokkedoorns and De Vrienden van Jacob. She also joined the chefs of Specktakel restaurant in cooking for a special dinner as well as a Mother’s Day event and concluded her trip with an exciting visit to the food and fish markets of Barcelona.

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