Franschhoek Wine Valley

Foliage restaurant in Franschhoek: an epicurean’s delight

Chris Erasmus in action

Twice a day, Chris Erasmus and two of his chefs head off into the Franschhoek forests to forage for fresh, interesting foliage to add to their menu.

Chris recently opened Foliage, on the corner of Berg and Huguenot streets, Franschhoek. He has a simple food philosophy: fresh, local, seasonal, and use everything, from nose to tail.

Chris was the chef at Pierneef à La Motte restaurant, in the same town, before opening Foliage in July. He says owning his own restaurant gives him the freedom to experiment with what nature has to offer.

Expertly plated meals

Every morning and afternoon two of his chefs, Nick Oosthuizen and Shaun Marais, accompany Chris on foraging expeditions.

The trio heads off into the forests to search for fresh ingredients and when the weather plays along they gather a range of mushrooms, which grow under trees.

The unique thing about mushrooms, he says, is that each tree is “home” to specific mushrooms. Pine bolete mushrooms, for instance, grow under pine trees. But even when no mushrooms are to be found, there are always salad herbs, pine needles and ferns.

Sorrel is another favourite, and they also pick up loads of acorns that they use to make acorn flour with. The flour is then used for baking bread and as a thickening agent in an acorn praline.

To the delight of their diners (many of whom are locals who return time and again), they use whatever they come back with in their dishes.

Guests having a great time

Chris only uses free-range, organic meat from pasture-fed animals. He also does not shy away from unusual meat like warthog and game, and he uses everything, including the tongues, brains and ears.

His favourite dish on the menu is pork belly, which he serves with crushed potatoes and pesto made with dandelion and sunflower seeds.  

The crackly pig ears, he says, are absolutely delicious and a firm favourite in both the restaurant and the kitchen.

Chris and his team expertly serves food in custom-made and unusual plates and bowls, adding to the eating experience.

He enjoys experimenting, coming up with new tastes and combinations. After a recent trip to India he returned with several bags of fresh, organic spices.

According to him, the quality of spices has a huge impact on the food and he only uses spices from highly-rated spice vendors.

Shelves in his kitchen are lined three-deep with glass jars containing a myriad of ingredients, including well-aged vinegar, which he uses for added zest to his dishes.


Franschhoek Wine Valley exists to:

  • Develop and implement marketing plans to profile the Franschhoek Wine Valley
  • Arrange and advertise events that support the Franschhoek Wine Valley brand image and which encourage visitors to the Valley
  • Represent the business interests of our members to the Stellenbosch Municipality
  • Aggregate the combined buying power of our members to leverage economy of scale benefits from service providers
  • Coordinate free advisory services and discussion forums to support our member’s businesses

Our Accolades

  • Tripadvisor Traveller's Choice Destination Winner 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
  • Most Memorable Wine Route 2014, 2013 & 2012
  • Service Excellence Award - 2015
  • Best Tourism Event 2015 - Franschhoek Bastille Festival
  • Best Local Tourism Authority Information service 2013 & 2012

Tourism Levy

Certain establishments in Franschhoek may levy visitors with voluntary contributions towards the running of the FWV and to support local charities. Should visitors not wish to contribute to these causes, please indicate this to the relevant merchant.

Disclaimer

Maintenance & validity of all business operating permits, licences and registration certificates are the responsibility of the business owner. Franschhoek Wine Valley takes no responsibility for the renewal of the required legal business operating documentation.

 

Contact Us

Franschhoek Wine Valley

Physical Address
62 Huguenot Road
Franschhoek
7690

Office hours
Monday – Friday: 08h00 – 17h00
Saturday: 09h00 – 17h00
Sunday’s: 09h00 – 16h00

Contact Details
+27(0) 21 876 2861
info@franschhoek.org.za