For those of you who don’t know me I am a local Cape Town girl who likes to live the simple life but enjoys the finer things life has to offer. I love food and it has always been an important part of my life and Cape Town certainly has a great deal to offer gastronomically. Recently I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview a local food legend, certainly in our quiet seaside suburb of Noordhoek, not to mention the greater foodie community, Franck Dangereux.
Although now a local man Franck was born in France (Cannes). He grew up in a family where, despite not being foodies themselves, food and eating was always at the heart of the home. In Franck’s words, his passion for cooking was “born out of a love of eating”. Languishing family feasts were always a strong tradition and trips to the local markets, a childhood adventure. Franck does feel that in modern society we might be in danger of missing these fantastic opportunities, of families being united by sharing in delicious food and making precious memories.
He started cooking at the age of 14 and began studying at the Nice Hotel School, the following year. By the age of 18 Franck was working in 3 Michelin Star restaurants in Paris. In 1987 while on holiday, Franck visited South Africa for the first time, only to fall in love with this magnificent country. He also happened to meet up with a local South African, Pete de Bruin, and despite their language barrier, (aided by the power of Tequila) they formed a friendship that would ultimately see them reunited through a joint vision in the future.
After a few more years spent honing his skills aboard, Franck officially immigrated to South Africa and made Cape Town his home. His first job in Cape Town was working for Franck Swainston at the esteemed Constantia Uitsig, where he worked as Head Chef for two years. In 1996, after taking some time off from the intensity of the kitchen, Franck returned to the gastronomic world and started La Colombe. He was given carte blanche to create a lavish fine dining experience, which would go on to achieve numerous accolades, including being voted as one of the top 50 Restaurants in the World in 2006.
A few years later, after discovering that the Noordhoek Farm Stall was up for sale, Franck and Pete realised the dream that their shared passion for food had ignited years previously, and The Foodbarn was officially born.
As a local Noordhoek – lass I have had the opportunity of eating at The Foodbarn many times, but what you may ask, is so special about this restaurant? The vision that Franck had for this eatery was to have a fine dining experience with great food and wine but a relaxed ambience and The Foodbarn certainly lives up to this expectation. Patrons are treated to a wonderful dining experience and great seasonal specials.
Franck believes that cooking is an experience that should excite all your senses, that food should be both visually appealing as well as taste good, with sauces being his forte, from a simple vinaigrette to a fragrantly spiced jus. Wine is also an integral part of your dining experience at The Foodbarn, with food and wine pairing recommendations being a feature of their menu.
Together Franck and Pete run The Foodbarn, Franck bringing his exceptional food skills and Pete his astute business knowledge, from years spent working in the corporate world. Not to forget Pete’s role of as the charming host at the Foodbarn, as well as looking his “baby” The Foodbarn Deli & Tapas, a more relaxed and rustic eatery. To find out more about Pete see a recent article featuring him as the Village Personality for March, on the Noordhoek Village website.
The Foodbarn is currently running a seasonal special, where diners can enjoy 50% off food ordered from the restaurant ala carte menu, Monday to Friday, lunches only. A few days ago I was lucky enough to be invited to photograph and sample two of these amazing dishes. The food did indeed taste as good as it looked! Below you will see the two dishes which I tasted and I would highly recommend that you visit The Foodbarn. (See the bottom of the page for contact details)
I would just like to thank Franck and Pete for this great opportunity and for bringing such a great dining experience to the area! I wish them continued success with both of their restaurants!Contact Details: Email info @ thefoodbarn.co.za - contact the restaurant+27 (0)21 789 1390 - contact the deli+27 (0)21 789 1966 – address Noordhoek Farm Village Corner Village Lane and Noordhoek Main Road Noordhoek 7979
Photography: ©FAR Photography