Food and wine lovers are in for a treat as Camphors, the signature restaurant at Vergelegen estate, which was named best winery in Africa, is hosting three innovative winter dinners. They take place on the last Friday of each month (26 July, 30 August and 27 September 2019) in Somerset West, South Africa.

Camphors Executive chef Michael Cooke trained at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch
Camphors Executive chef Michael Cooke trained at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch

On speed dial for food lovers

With its seasonal interpretation of locally-sourced, globally-influenced dishes, Camphors has long been on the speed dial of food lovers.

Camphors has been on the Eat Out top 10 restaurants list from 2016 to 2019 and has also won the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award (the first top 10 restaurant to hold both awards).

“Each of the three winter dinner events will push the conventions and expectations of dining, unlocking the mystery and intrigue of foods and food pairings,” says the Camphors team. “Every dinner will offer an interactive and immersive experience, orchestrated in a dining format geared to heighten and engage the senses.”

The restaurant, named after five giant camphor trees on the 319-year-old estate, is renowned for dishes that embody a sense of place, paying homage to the origins of the raw ingredients – sourced both from specialist suppliers and on the estate.

Camphors Executive Chef Michael Cooke

“Our first winter dinner menu will have elements of theatricality, so we will keep the guests guessing as to what the dishes will be,” says Camphors Executive Chef Michael Cooke. “Instead, we will list the dishes according to their various preparation techniques or origin.”

Cooke did however reveal that three of the servings will be “celeriac roasted over pine”, “Vergelegen leaves, flowers and herbs” and “pasture-raised beef – braised, steamed, raw, puffed and poured.”

Carefully selected wine pairings of Vergelegen vintages will complement the courses. Since Anglo American acquired the farm in 1989, the estate and its wines have earned more than 200 awards, and the wines are consistently highly rated by international critics such as Stephen Tanzer, Tim Atkin and Neal Martin.

Top winery notes

In the prestigious World’s Best Vineyard 2019 competition, a voting panel from around the globe analysed 1500 wineries from 17 countries. Vergelegen was named the best winery in Africa, and number 34 overall.

Camphors restaurant awards

In addition to the Eat Out Mercedes Benz Restaurant Awards, Camphors was awarded three star status in the annual independent Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide. In the JHP Gourmet Guide 2016, 2017 and 2018, the eaterie was named as one of 21 exceptional restaurants in the country. The restaurant also won a platinum award in the American Express Fine Dining Awards in 2018 and was named one of the top 1000 restaurants in the world.

What: Vergelegen Camphors Winter dinners
Camphors reservations: Each winter dinner is R895 including wine, 021 847 2131
Opening hours: Camphors is closed during winter Mondays and Tuesdays, open Wednesdays to Sundays for lunch from 12pm – 2.30pm