Executive Chef Carolize Coetzee’s approach in the kitchen is to create dishes with the chosen ingredients reflecting honest, transparent and fresh simplicity; delivering a balanced complexity of flavours through her technique in each dish that’s paired to one of Dornier’s wines. A young, poised blonde with layers of experience, Carolize has been cooking since a teenager when with a working mother she cooked for the family. ‘It was no chore, I just love cooking.’ It was the close relationship Carolize had with her grandmother that intensified her interest towards food as she spent her growing years with her learning the great secrets of cooking. Carolize went on to qualify at The Hurst Campus and trained at Delaire Graff Estate under Chef Christiaan Campbell, rapidly rising to the position of Head Chef – she’s worked at several prestigious restaurants in Cape Town.

Housed in the pastoral allure of a historic barn, overlooking the architectural masterpiece of Dornier’s wine cellar and nestled beneath the ragged folds of the Stellenbosch Mountain between fynbos-clad hills and manicured vines, Bodega beckons both food and wine aficionados. The Smoked Venison Carpaccio served with wild mushrooms, fromage blanc, brioche, caper berries, rocket & truffle dressing is paired with Dornier Pinotage. Carolize’s Wild Mushroom Tortellini served with earthy, rich pea cream, sautéed wild mushrooms, pancetta and ricotta mousse is succulently paired with Dornier’s limited release single varietal Sémillon.

Says the Chef: ‘I place a lot of emphasis on respect for one another as a team in the kitchen, as well as the ingredients. Teaching is one of my big passions and in so being I put much effort into training my team, teaching them new techniques, elevating their strong points and working on their weaker points. In that process I learn a lot about myself and my limits, while constantly developing my passion. My approach to the work atmosphere is to keep the tone balanced with fun and pleasure. This I believe is when magic happens.’

Bodega at Dornier Wine Estate, Blaauwklippen Road, Stellenbosch; lunch Wed – Sun 11h30-15h; tapas & flammkucken Wed – Sun 15h-17h;  tel: 021 880 0557 or email: [email protected]