Kirstie du Toit, Executive Chef at Louisvale Wines in Stellensbosch, says her love for cooking started when she was a small girl. Born in Mossel Bay, she spent most of her time with her Ouma baking rusks, pasties, cakes and biscuits in her bakery, which was an old barn. “Cooking runs in my family and I cannot imagine doing anything else”, says Kirstie.
During her studies at TCA in Cape Town she did six-months practical at Mon Plaisir where she stayed for five years and worked her way up to Sous Chef. Once Mon Plaisir was sold, Kirstie decided to venture to Kwa-Zulu Natal where she worked at Granny Mouse Country House where she was a Chef de Partie (CDP) and then a sous Chef, culinary artist and one of the managers of the kitchen.
After five years she was longing to return to the Western Cape and when the opportunity arose to run the kitchen at Louisvale Wine Farm, she leapt at the chance. “I took it with open arms and have never looked back”. Says Kirstie.
“It was jolly hard work starting a kitchen from scratch with no staff, with minimal equipment and a big challenge for me to make it work. “I could stand the heat in the kitchen though – and I persevered, and it’s all been well worth it.”
With her passion for family, food and Cape Town, Kirstie wants to spend as much time as she can with her little girl and her husband exploring the Cape and what is has to offer. She would also like to discover recipes that have been best kept secrets and only shared with the family in their Cape Dutch kitchens.
In 2020, Kirstie’s main goal is getting the Louisvale name on as many people’s lips as possible as well as focusing on getting The Deli @ Louisvale up and running. “We would like to offer our visitors our amazing produce that is grown on the farm. Our vegetable garden is growing very fast. My dream is to make it even bigger and to also provide my hardworking staff with some of my fresh produce from my garden. “
Her other focus this year is to create wine pairing menus. “The Louisvale wines are out of this world and they’ll certainly help get my creative juices flowing so that we can create amazing flavours, complimenting both the food and the wine at the same time”.