Cooking experience with Isabella Niehaus on the dunes of Langebaan

No-one does Sunday lunch quite like former fashion editor and firm foodie Isabella Niehaus. Just ask the hundreds of guests that have experienced the epic feasts she has been hosting for the past five years at her Langtafel op die Duin (long-table on the dune) taking place once a month at her gorgeous home in […]

No-one does Sunday lunch quite like former fashion editor and firm foodie Isabella Niehaus. Just ask the hundreds of guests that have experienced the epic feasts she has been hosting for the past five years at her Langtafel op die Duin (long-table on the dune) taking place once a month at her gorgeous home in Langebaan. Jealous? Don’t be. Isabella is more than happy to teach you all those tricks tucked up her sleeve – and how to make an unforgettable three-course meal starring locally sourced, ocean-fresh seafood in the process.

Highlights

  • Learn to cook fresh West Coast seafood dishes
  • Informal experience cooking together
  • Using the best fresh produce available
  • Sensory experience
  • Join fellow foodies around Isabella’s table to enjoy the feast you prepare together
  • A small gift to take home

Duration

11h00 – 15h00 (about 4 hours)

Schedule

16 September 2017

25 September 2017

12 October 2017

14 October 2017 (sold out)

28 October 2017 (sold out)

3 November 2017

11 November 2017

Although there are specific dates for this experience, any date can be booked for a private cooking experience by booking request (min of 6 | max of 14 people).

Price

R650 per person

Overview

With a former career as a fashion editor of several best-selling South African magazines, Isabella Niehaus’s home, situated on a dune overlooking the ocean in the laid-back West Coast town of Langebaan, is the stuff of décor stylists’ dreams. No surprise then that her cooking experience is as much a feast for the eye as the taste buds.

“Creating a sense of occasion by setting a beautiful table is as important for me as eating a delicious meal,” says Isabella, or Bella as her friends know her. But let’s take it back to the beginning. Bella is a cook and entertainer of note, with a special passion for cooking with fresh, sustainable seafood. It’s her mission to show guests that cooking with fresh fish doesn’t have to be intimidating at all: if you stick to the rules, there’ll be no dry and overcooked (the horror!), or undercooked fish for dinner every again.

After first introductions to your fellow-cooks everyone head into the kitchen and get stuck into helping prepare the day’s menu around a huge red cement table. This is unfussy heart-food, with unique Bella flair.

For starters, you can expect helping her whip up anything from garlic and cauliflower fritters to one of her signature salads – think handfuls of fresh parsley, basil and mint, with sesame oil marinated tomatoes and fresh figs. It’s all about having fun and improvising, so if you happen to think a handful of toasted seeds might take it to the next level, Bella’s all for it.

During the main course prep, there’s always a couple of handy seafood tips incorporated, whether it’s learning how to debeard and properly clean freshly picked mussels for mussel bobotie in filo cups (keep calm and don’t fear the filo!), making a quick seafood stock from scratch for a spicy fish soup or learning how to smoke your own fish for what is surely one of the most epic fish pies you’ll ever have (it’s topped with bacon and leeks).

Dessert usually involves dressing up an old pud in a whole new finger-licking guise. Take a traditional moist apple cake, for example. You know what takes it to the next level? Rum caramel sauce. Before lunch is served, Bella will show you how she likes to set her long table, decorating it with unconventional foliage like indigenous spekboom or rosemary from her garden, and rounding it all off with beautifully printed linen napkins.

And then, lunch is served. Don’t be surprised if the tranquil surrounds and good company sees you saying yes to that second (maybe even third) glass of wine. As you head home with a small parting gift from Bella, you’ll realise the day was as much about learning how to cook, as it was about making friends and creating memories.

What’s included

  • Wine paired with dishes
  • A gift to take home
  • Three course meal
  • Recipes to take home

What’s not included

  • Transfers

Important Information

  • Minimum booking of 8 people for the experience to go ahead.
  • Maximum booking of 14

 

Photography: Francois Pistorius