10 Jul Goatshed’s Favourites | Interview with Chef SJ Nel
Over the years, the Goatshed has re-invented itself, with a new look and logo being rolled out in 2016. However, some things are too good to change, and that’s particularly true for our our Head Chef SJ Nel and our Goatshed pies. Ever since they came onto the menu, they’ve been a hit with our visitors. Available in a regularly updated assortment of flavours, including our all-time favourite chicken curry pie or lamb shank pie, the pasty bundles are a particularly fantastic treat during these cooler winter months. After all, we couldn’t think of a better winter activity than cozying up in the Goatshed – with underfloor heating and wonderful wines, a lunch at the Goatshed is definitely one to remember.
Recently, we sat down with our Goathsed Chef SJ Nel, the inventor of our beloved pies, to find out more about his love for food:
Tell us a bit about your background?
I have Northern Cape roots and was fortunate to gain experience in British, Swedish and a few South African kitchens.
What is your favourite dish to eat?
Cooking all day does not create cravings for anything fancy. A simple freshly baked roll with sausage, coleslaw, mustard and a beer is what I love. I guess that’s why I particularly love making a good pie too!
What is your favourite dish to make?
I am guilty of crowd pleasing and therefore our most popular dish at The Goatshed Restaurant is Braised Fairview Lamb.
What are the most interesting things happening in food right now?
Real top notch ingredients, being prepared simply, served informally, with amazing attitudes, leaving small footprints.
What is your food philosophy?
Getting your hands dirty to bring together flavourful ingredients, from sustainable sources, taking care of the environment while helping people.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Dry aged T-bone steak with a generous piece of fat, matured cheeses and red wine.
Most bizarre thing in your fridge right now?
My wife, Lisa, is keeping me healthy with a variety of nutritious smoothies so I will have to say some of those ingredients – like coconut water, cocoa nibs and organic granadilla pulp.
What is your favourite food memory?
“Potjiekos” with my father, mastermind snack platters with my mother, traditional “padkos” roadtripping with my three sisters and mushroom risotto for my one and only Lisa.
Two flavours that shouldn’t go together but do?
Goats’ milk and caramel.
Advice you wish you were given as a young chef?
Listen to all your mentors, good and bad, you will definitely learn something.