Although Raith Gourmet has a long and detailed history with strong traditions – under new ownership a breath of new air is being brought in. Just one way in which Chris is bringing in new ideas and innovation is through the new head chef at the High Constantia branch; Clara.
Born in Cape Town to German parents, Clara describes her upbringing as giving herself the right mix of efficiency and relaxedness. Having attended the German School in Tamboerskloof and intimately involved in the Cape Town German culture, Clara is well versed in German food and culture. Spending a lot of time with her mother during childhood, she found her love for food and everything that goes with it in the kitchen helping her mother cook. She describes her mother as being a demon in the kitchen, teaching her the value that food can bring to families and friends. For Clara, it is not only the food itself that sparked her interest but everything that food can foster and encourage.
Her career as a chef began at the Cordon Bleu institute in Cape Town. However, due to financial troubles she had to put her dreams aside and went on to study at the University of Cape Town for a short year during which her desire to cook never subsided. At the age of 22, Clara joined the first government subsidized Granger Bay Hotel School Professional Culinary course. She studied there for three years with Margot Janse and George Jardine. After which she moved to Egypt as an Advisory Chef for a major meat and livestock importer in Cairo; Gourmet Egypt. Clara spent three years working in Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon alongside the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Maroun Chedid.
Upon her return to Cape Town, she opened up her own eatery on Bree Street called Beautiful Food, housed in a three story art gallery and based around lunch services and events. At the end of October 2014, she started her food journey at Raith Gourmet as the Head Chef of the Constantia Branch.
She describes her approach to food as uncomplicated and honest. She finds inspiration from what the season brings bringing in an eclectic mix of her South African and German roots. She enjoys making fresh and light food, perfect for the summer months. Her favorite summer menu items include the Eggs Benedict with its creamy hollandaise perched on a soft poached egg, roesti and gypsy ham. However, she also enjoys the Salmon Gravadlax – perfect for those banting this summer.
With a few edits to the menu in mind, Raith Gourmet High Constantia promises to be a place of new foodie adventures and gastronomic wonders. Keep an eye out for Raith Gourmet’s new summer menu and on the new chef wonder Clara.