Nov 2022 –
About La Petite Firme’s restaurant talented head chef- Ricardo Watson
La Petite Ferme, on the Franschhoek Pass and member of The Nest Collection, has appointed a talented new head chef in Autumn 2022. Ricardo Watson came with a wealth of experience and is set to re-invigorate the dining experience at one of the Cape Winelands’ most scenic locations..
From its mountainside perch at the very top of the Franschhoek Valley, the restaurant enjoys unrestricted views that are shared with the property’s intimate luxury suites.
Ricardo oversees and implement the menu design and provide oversight together with Restaurant Manager Marilize Visagie of the restaurant. A cornerstone of the offering is seasonal menus showcasing quality produce from the Franschhoek region with South African inspired influences.
“I enjoy creating from South African heritage dishes, employing a mix of cooking methods,” he says. He adds that menu planning always starts with the desserts, implying that every dining experience at La Petite Ferme is guaranteed to end on a high note.
The motivation behind each dish stems from the origins of La Petite Ferme itself, delivering country cuisine with a fresh contemporary touch.
“The location is simply stunning,” says Ricardo. “Working in this environment, with a great team, is truly energising. I love the intimacy of simple, eclectic food that boosts of flavour. Good food is a series of a lot of little things done well, and never to be afraid to try something new.”
He was raised in the Somerset West – Cape Town, deciding at school already that he wanted to become a chef. “The cosmopolitan city’s culture, tradition and trends laid the foundation for my love of food,” he says.
From this emerged his commitment to local ingredients, open mindedness and the constant pursuit of knowledge.
“I will always respect tradition set by great chefs, but I do not shy away from breaking the mould,” he says. “The joy and adrenaline that comes from creating something new is unparalleled!”
He started his professional career in the Heart of the Winelands at the famous Lanzerac Hotel & Spa, after he qualified with Honours from the International Hotel School. Traveling North to the beautiful Magaliesberg Mountains he work alongside Trevor Boyd (SA Olympic Culinary Captain) at the African Pride Mount Grace Country House and Spa.
Through hard work and dedication he elevated himself and joined the kitchen brigade in the South African’s “French Corner” Le Franschhoek Hotel, and then travelled North once more to the famous Hemmingways Restaurant in Centurion. He states that he had incredible opportunities which followed. “I had the opportunity to work side by side with the South African culinary Legend Garth Stroebel at the World Class Vergelegen Estate before joining the Hout Bay Manor family”. Here Ricardo’s skills and dedication gave him a chance to finally take over the reigns as Executive Chef where his passion for Mediterranean and Classic French cuisine were shown his vibrant colours and texture in his food.
Now at La Petite Ferme, Ricardo looks forward to building on the property’s great culinary and hospitality tradition.
The restaurant at La Petite Ferme is open daily for lunch from 12:00 to 15:30 and dinner daily from 18:30 to 21:00.
La Petite Ferme is a proud member of The Nest Collection.
For more information about The Nest Collection, visit www.thenestcollection.com.