Meat that’s soft and sticky and smoky, just the way you like it
Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery at Spier Wine Farm has us licking our lips for its opening
After three years running the popular Hoghouse BBQ and Bakery, chef PJ Vadas is excited to launch Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery at Spier Wine Farm.
Vadas comes from a long line of family-run businesses: his Jewish Hungarian great grandfather founded Vadas Paints in Cape Town in 1906 which went on to become Midas Paints. His parents have owned and run Pembrey’s bistro in Knysna for 23 years.
It’s a significant move for him to add the family name to the Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery, a venture close to his heart and his cooking philosophy. The restaurant will be known for smoking meats slowly until soft and sticky.Having worked in London, New York and France, Vadas will be going super local, starting with suppliers. Farmer Angus will supply all the beef, pork, chicken and eggs, and there are plans to grow all the vegetables on the farm too.
“Although it’s the fashion to be sustainable and organic, at Spier we really can achieve that because we have a butchery on the farm,” said Vadas. Working so closely from farm to butchery to table will allow the chefs to use the whole animal from nose to tail. Surplus veggies will be fermented or pickled to use in future dishes, and leftover meat can be reworked into meals for Spier’s picnic deli to avoid waste.The menu will change daily depending on what’s available on the farm and from local suppliers. “It’s a lot more work from our side, but it’s much more fun,” he says.
The restaurant will serve dishes that you can order for the table (such as a whole leg of lamb for six, with a variety of side dishes). While the menu will be meat-driven, there will be ample, delicious vegetarian dishes, something Vadas was known for implementing at Hoghouse. While the ingredients are hyper-local, the inspiration for the dishes is worldwide. “Our menu might go from an English pork pie, to a taco, to a ramen-style broth. It will all be super tasty.”Fans of Vadas’s famous pastéis de nata won’t be disappointed, and croissants will be back by popular demand in the restaurant’s bakery. Vadas is looking to source organic flour, grains, corn and polenta from Lowerland organic farm in Prieska, and plans are afoot to experiment with loaves. A brand new bar in the space will serve beer on tap, Spier wines and will introduce an assortment of tequilas and mezcal. A gelato counter will serve Moro Gelato.Housed in the 200-year-old Jonkershuis building on the farm, the restaurant will open in September after renovations this winter. The vision for the interior is an abundance of colour. “We wanted to create an environment where the food is good and the kids are welcome,” he said. The renovations will include a play area and children will be encouraged to climb trees and run on the grass on the beautiful Spier grounds.Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery hopes to be a place for the Stellenbosch community. “If someone brings in their homegrown tomatoes, we’ll cut them up and dress them in a Rozendal vinegar and a Morgenster olive oil and an Oryx salt and that’s it – that’s your side dish. You cannot get better food than that.”