Franschhoek Wine Valley

Maison Estate chef cooks on instinct

Maison Estate franschhoek

Artfully plated food

Arno Janse van Rensburg, chef of The Kitchen at the Maison Estate, cooks on instinct, using whatever is available and fresh. He describes his food as “global contemporary”.

Janse van Rensburg developed his cooking style growing up with a family that enjoyed fishing and diving. They cooked their catch as soon as possible. His parents also made their own biltong and droëwors.

But it was only in his matric school year that he decided on a culinary career. Before that, his heart had been set on becoming an artist.

After studying at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch, he worked for a number of restaurants. After spending a decade honing his skills, he was appointed as The Kitchen’s chef in 2011, when the restaurant opened its doors.

Arno Janse van Rensburg

Arno Janse van Rensburg

“I experiment with new techniques and develop dishes. I very rarely use a set recipe; I cook whatever is available and fresh,” he says.

It took him three weeks to create the perfect octopus terrine. The octopus is soft and sweet, and served with aubergine, apple, mange tout and grapefruit.

A beautiful dish of different-coloured root vegetables is fresh and earthy, and a yellowtail sashimi-type dish goes down a treat.

Maison Estate franschhoek

A large pot of marmalade

He is particularly proud of his gooseberry dessert, and says the berry is a staple on the restaurant’s sweet menu.

“It tastes different, depending on the season,” he says. Herbs, fruit and eggs come directly from the farm.

Maison Estate

Octopus terrine

The Kitchen has clean lines and a relaxing atmosphere, overlooking a lawn and vineyards.

The calmness of the eatery extends to the kitchen, where Janse van Rensburg and his team work like a well-oiled machine, taking turns to plate and cook.

Janse van Rensburg is clearly proud of his team, and takes time out to crack a joke here and there.

“Cooking is my passion. I’m relatively decent at it, and am not in it for the fame and fortune,” he says with a laugh.

Maison Estate franschhoek

Root vegetables

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’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2020 - Top 25 Emerging Worldwide Destinations (15th position).
  • 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.


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

Office hours
Monday: 09h00 – 12h00
Tuesday to Friday: 09h00 – 16h00
Saturday: 09h00 – 13h00
Sunday: closed

Contact Details
+27(0) 21 876 2861