We welcome Mauritz Greeff to Morukuru Family De Hoop as GM and Head of the F&B offering! Whenever we say hello to a new family member, we like to get to know a little more about them and pick their brains for some of their insights.
Do you identify as a chef, a foodie or a gourmand...explain? Look there’s nothing wrong with those other categories - ha ha ha - but I’m firmly in the chef camp because that is where I have learned and applied my trade for most of my career.
As Head of Food & Beverage - you need an excellent knowledge of wine...tell us about your training and your journey to this point in your career. Growing up in Franschhoek and being surrounded by excellent wine farms and wines and all the great chefs, gave me lots of opportunities to learn and grow. But learning is not finite and there are always new innovations and products to swot up on.
When guests ask you for wine recommendations - is that a bit like mind-reading - what skills do you call upon to understand someone else's taste in wine? It’s all about the guest really. It’s amazing what you can discover with a few good questions. I start by finding out what they gravitate toward; match that up with our cellar selections and work from there. Morukuru Family De Hoop is well stocked with great variety so hitting the jackpot is easy. Many guests are knowledgeable too so that makes for a healthy discussion.
What is your ultimate food & wine pairing? And why? Fish and chips with a glass of chardonnay! Actually, it was something we had recently! We were lucky enough to go to the Test Kitchen Carbon and Luke Dale Roberts paired black cod, truffle brandade ravioli with a Momento Grenache Gris 2017.
Which chefs inspire you? I don’t really follow any specific chefs but the people who have inspired me are the guys in Franschhoek where I grew up. Local legends like Pete Goffe Wood, Matthew Gordon, Margot Janse and Ruben Riffle. Now chefs like Luke Dale Roberts are really influential with their cutting-edge food.
Must have cookbook in your kitchen? Too many to mention, but the ones I really enjoy are the Charlie Trotter range - a chef well before his time.
Morukuru Family is an award-winning property - what has most impressed you about the food and beverage team - can you share any special compliments. The accolades are well deserved. The first thing I noticed was the dedication and passion, of the entire team. Everyone is totally committed to giving the guest the best experience they can and it is always done with a smile.
Must have ingredients in your pantry? Fresh lemon for your seafood, chilli, garlic and Gabrielskloof olive oil of course!
Being at the coast means seafood is always a popular choice - give us your top three seafood recommendations. You can’t go wrong with, fresh oysters, catch of the day line fish and a mussel pot.
We are currently in the middle of winter here in De Hoop - what can we expect on the menu? The Morukuru Family philosophy is based on seasonal and fresh produce. So our attention moves to what is available during the chilly months. Plus we are committed to supporting local producers. Cooler weather means more robust and hearty dishes.
Have you got any exciting plans for the food & beverage offerings and experiences in the months to come? Definitely! We are looking at restructuring our kitchen staff and moving people around to make it more exciting and dynamic. I am sourcing some new suppliers which will add some new offerings.
Morukuru has well-established local suppliers and is 100% focussed on the freshest ingredients - have you discovered anything new since moving to the Overberg - any secret suppliers etc? This part of the world is totally different. We are blessed with people who show a genuine willingness to help and make plans for the best product. That said, I have been exploring and have uncovered some hidden gems.
You live and work in a remote area - tell us about some of the work challenges and share some of the lifestyle benefits you enjoy - working in a nature reserve? Work-related it is nothing new to us, we are well experienced in remote work and love every second of it. The real value is safety and security and REAL quality family time in a pristine location with amazing people.
When you are not working – what do you do for relaxation? I walk into my backyard and hit the sand dunes, beach and sea. Then I drive down the road and visit local wine farms and great restaurants …… need I say more!