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There has been a lot of changes at Vrede en Lust over the last couple of months, but the most noteworthy has to be that of the departure of Jean-Pierre Smith, Lust Bistro & Bakery’s founder and captain. JP leaves behind an impressive legacy with Lust Bistro currently number 1 on Trip Advisor out of 58 restaurants in Franschhoek, and as they say, get out while the getting is good! He has been a huge asset and will be greatly missed, but we wish him a fond farewell knowing that he is moving onwards and upwards to life on a private island in the Bahamas.
Taking JP’s place at the head of the helm at Lust Bistro is Ed Saunders. Ed is a born and bred Londoner, who fell in love with South Africa on a trip to a wedding in 2005 and basically never left. After the shock wore off of how uncivilised South African food was, and having discovered how fantastic South African wine was, kitted with his background as an Italian tapas restaurateur in London, he decided that he needed to marry his tapas with SA wine and offer it to the public. Ed will be the first to tell you that it wasn’t easy to convince the typical local in 2006 why a plate of 4 little bite-sized tapas was better than a steak and chips, but nearly two decades later, it seems that we have finally caught up with his vision and foresight.
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There are many theories of how and why Tapas originated. Some sites say that it comes from little inns in Spain where the tavern owners couldn’t write and the travellers couldn’t read, so they would offer them small samples of the dishes for the travellers to try on the lids of the pots of the main dishes. Others say that they used thin slices of bread or meat to cover glasses of sherry to prevent fruit flies from getting into the glass from which a patron was drinking. Naturally, the patrons would nibble on their glass covers (tapa means ‘to cover’) and then need another cover, but with the meat being so highly salted for preservation back then, they would get thirsty and drink more. The tavern owners had accidentally found a great way to increase their alcohol sales and so this led to the development of small snacks called tapas. Today, tapas are a lot more sophisticated then bread or cheese, with Ed describing his special brand of tapas as ‘a whole meal in a mouthful’.
16 years later after the opening of Fork in Cape Town, Ed now finds himself fully entrenched into Vrede en Lust’s buzzing little eco-system. We are thrilled to have Ed’s exuberance aboard and to be able to use different types of tapas to showcase the delicate and unique characteristics of our wines. The first wine and tapas pairing will officially be available in our Tasting Room from the 1st of March (if you go now you can sneak in some of the early testers) and is a wonderful new experience that we can’t wait to share with our customers, both old and new.
- Current owners of Vrede en Lust reflect on last 25 years as month of October marked an impressive anniversary
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