Have you ever had dreams of learning to cook gourmet dishes with world-class celebrity chefs in a charming environment? And we’re not talking about chopping shallots at home to the beat of said chef’s instructional video on your Facebook newsfeed.

What we’re talking about is the real thing minus the military-like pressure of a professional kitchen. African Relish – a recreational cooking school set in the picturesque Karoo town of Prince Albert – is offering three weekend-long intimate cooking courses with world-renowned culinary masters, from August to December 2018. Not that cooking is the only thing to look forward to; guests can also expect to join chefs on excursions to local food markets and artisan shops.

“If you’ve always dreamed of getting whisked away to a transcendental foodie weekend, all while learning from an expert and seriously upping your game, one of our three scheduled courses is sure to be suited to your taste,” says Virna van der Walt, General Manager at African Relish. Read on to find out more.

Home cheese making principles with Annelien Pienaar
Friday, 17 to Sunday, 19 August 2018

Annelien Pienaar – food blogger, consultant, lecturer, author, stylist and health-orientated foodie – comes to African Relish to share her expertise in cheese making (she is equally gifted at sourdough bread baking).

Annelien started her own cooking school for the Food Hobby Market in an old dairy stable on her farm close to Hartebeespoortdam in 2009. Her first knockout cookbook, Boerekos met ’n Twist, aims to educate you save on saving time in the kitchen and money on your grocery bill, while still taking care of your family’s dietary health. It is now in its second edition and will be available in English soon.

The success of this book has been followed by the TV show Boerekos met ‘n Twist which is broadcast on VIA TV, DSTV channel 147. In the show, Annelien continues to champion the ethos of living from the land, serving food fresh from the garden to the table and saying no to all processed foods filled with preservatives.

“We are thrilled and privileged to have her in our kitchen sharing her tremendous wealth of experience and knowledge of food and cheese with our guests,” says Virna

Click here to find out more about the weekend itenary, cost per person and how to book.

Secrets of a French cooking class with Marlene van der Westhuizen
Friday, 23 to Sunday, 25 October

“Join South African chef and author Marlene van der Westhuizen for an intimate French-influenced cooking class with ingredients sourced from local Prince Albert food heroes,” says Virna.

Marlene divides her time between Cape Town and Charroux in the French countryside.

Her passion for food bloomed while she was tutored in the kitchen of chef John Jackson. Her food journey has taken her to the Alsace on the Rhine river, seen her prepare food and wine pairing lunches for wine estates in the Western Cape, as well as food demos at The Food Studio in Green Point. Marlene now cooks to the beat of her own drum with her Cook’s Tours at Bagatelle, Charroux and her home in Green Point, Cape Town, where she gives private cooking lessons.

She is all about the wonder of wholesome, memorable food: sourcing it, cooking it and sharing it with friends and fellow food travellers. She incorporates the understated glamour of French country cooking, eating and living and teaches her students how to cook and present these meals.

She is the author of seven cookbooks and is currently working on an eighth – Plate – featuring the best of her scrumptious mains?. Her successful Afrikaans TV food show, Van Skaapstert tot Camembert, is currently being rebroadcast on the VIA channel on DSTV.

Click here to book and find out about the weekend’s activities.

Tales of a township childhood through food with Hope Malau
Friday, 7 to Sunday, 9 December 2018

At African Relish, chef, food writer and stylist Hope Malau will share his way of cooking traditional South African foods with a contemporary twist. “He will also be sharing stories of his past, a bygone way of life, as well as the resilience of his culture and its contribution to his way of cooking,” Virna van der Walt says.

Hope was born in Jouberton, a township near Klerksdorp in the North West province and completed his culinary studies at The Professional Cooking Academy, Rustenburg. He worked in restaurants, juggling jobs to make rent and got a job at Media24 as an assistant recipe developer for Drum magazine and after many years became the magazine’s first black male editor. During this time he won the prestigious Galliova award for the Best Food Writer of the Year two years in a row. He now lives in Cape Town.

Hope’s cooking book, Johanne 14, was published in 2017 and showcases his Proudly South African, traditional black recipes with a modern touch, enhancing the beautiful flavours of Mzansi.

Click here to find out more about the weekend and how to book.