Catch local Graaff-Reinet chef on BBC Lifestyle show

Chef Jason Fortuin and Lorna Maseko at the Owl House.

Chef Jason Fortuin and Lorna Maseko at the Owl House.
Photo: Supplied

Lorna Maseko, an internationally renowned chef and TV personality, visits the Karoo in this week’s episode of Homegrown Tastes South Africa – a show on BBC Lifestyle.

The series premiered on Wednesday March 23 on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174).

In Episode 6, which airs on Wednesday, April 27 at 20:00, Lorna ventures to the Karoo, where she is joined by beloved ‘Big Chef’ Jason Fortuin from Graaff-Reinet to experience the joys of traditional Karoo dining.

Jason is the Executive Chef at the Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet. He moved from Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) to the Karoo over three years ago and has not looked back since.

Their trip begins in the heart of the Great Karoo, Kransplaas Farm, where they cook and enjoy a delicious picnic amongst the farm’s idyllic landscapes, followed by a visit to the wonderful Owl House Museum in Nieu-Bethesda for a tour led by Fulvio de Stephanis.

Lorna continues her journey across the Karoo to the beautiful Wheatlands Farm where she is met by the Short family, who produces the famed Karoo lamb. Their lamb is used at Noodhulp Farm where Graaff-Reinet’s best loved chef, Gordon Wright, creates his own unique Karoo lamb dish for Lorna. Finally, using the episode’s hero ingredients, Lorna makes Chef Jason sumptuous lamb chops, with spekboom chimmichurri.

Lorna Maseko with Gordan Wright, who created his o

Lorna Maseko with Gordan Wright, who created his own unique Karoo lamb dish for Lorna.

About the show

Celebrating the flair of our local culinary landscape, Homegrown Tastes South Africa follows Lorna Maseko on a culinary expedition across South Africa.

From gatsbies at sea level to tasty treats in our highest town, Dullstroom, Lorna will spend each episode sampling various tantalising delights, meeting a feast of local heroes along the way.

In each episode, Lorna is joined by a special celeb guest and, together, they meet the chefs and personalities behind our best street food and haute cuisine. Along the way, Lorna will explore the exceptional ingredients grown in South Africa as she samples fine wines, seafood, decadent desserts and more.

To close each episode, she celebrates the hero ingredients of the region by preparing her own delicious version of what the area has to offer.

Homegrown Tastes South Africa is part of BBC Lifestyle’s local line-up, which showcases the best in fresh local content every Wednesday at 20:00.

About the venues visited during the episode

Kransplaas Farm

Kransplaas is situated in the heart of the Great Karoo, a mere 20km from Graaff-Reinet – the fourth oldest town in South Africa.

Established in 2014, Kransplaas operates on 4 620 hectares of which 2 050 hectares are used for farming activities, such as cattle and lucerne fields. A total of 2 570 hectares are set aside for wildlife and conservation.

Kransplaas is an ideal overnight stopover for long-distance travellers or a getaway to rest, relax, refresh and recharge.

Wheatlands Farm

This is a beautiful Karoo working farm that is steeped in eight generations of family history.

Wheatlands Country House, or the “Big House” as it is known to family, was built in 1912 by Arthur Tucker Parkes for his wife Lily during the ostrich feather boom. The house boasts high, pressed ceilings, wood-panelled walls, beautiful handcrafted stained-glass window, booklined corridors and antiques that have been collected through the generations.

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The Owl House

The Owl House museum in Nieu-Bethesda was created by Helen Martinis between 1945 and 1976.

Driven to despair by the dullness of her daily life, she took steps to transform her world with light, colour, and texture by turning her house and the area around it into a visionary environment by elaborately decorating it with more than 300 statues including owls, camels, peacocks, pyramids and people.

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Mount Camdeboo

Mount Camdeboo is a privately owned game reserve, which is home to numerous endangered species that have been successfully rehabilitated and reintroduced into South Africa’s malaria-free Great Karoo.

homegrown tastes