My mate Nicole was raised with lambs legs gently swaying above her pram. Her Mom and Dad both arrived as immigrants from Greece and owned one of the local butcher shops in Joburg. Her Mom and Aunt loved to cook and to prepare all the traditional dishes from their homeland. To the Greeks every meal with the family is a celebration and should be cherished! It is always a feast when the family get together and there are an endless number of dishes served over the course of the afternoon.
Her foodie seeds were planted early and her love of food would guide her journey. Nicole studied to be a Chef, ran a canteen and then launched her first restaurant called Cilantro in Parkhurst in the early days of Parkhurst metamorphasizing into a little gourmet hub in Joburg. Her next venture was a restaurant called Icon. The idea for this one was to create an upmarket Greek Restaurant serving the best Greek food in Joburg. Both restaurants ended up with a huge and loyal following. Nicole however was dreaming of the next step and that was a return to the earth. A desire to actually be a farmer and to grow her own olives and to make her own olive oil in the future. She searched the Cape for a perfect spot and when shown an apple farm in Elgin – she fell in love and made an offer. She sold her restaurant and stepped into a new world of farming.
This step lead her to a new venture with her friend Ian Downie – they noticed that there was a gap in the market for a proper apple champers. In South Africa we just had regular everyday cider. This was the birth of a wonderful product called Terra Madre Pomme Classique………….literally a cider made in the method of champagne……you make an apple wine and then add yeast so that it goes through a second fermentation. They designed the beautiful Terra Madre logo which represented their philosophy of the earth giving life and launched their sexy cider, which is the perfect drink for a hot summers day with the whole familia under an apple tree!
Nicole’s next dream was to create a range of products made only from the best ingredients, she also started the journey of learning how to make her own charcuterie meats, naturally made only from the best sources of grain fed and acorn fed animals. It was a natural product extension for the Terra Madre brand.
In order to share her philosophy on food and her products she has launched a market on her apple farm in Elgin. This market represents everything that makes up Nicole. It is a celebration of life, it is a celebration of family, it is a feast, it offers some of the most delicious food you will find in the Cape and it is a chance to escape to a farm filled with apple trees and love!
On market days plan to come for lunch, the main course for lunch is served from around 2pm – however – there are artisan loaves of bread on sale – so start with your own meze. Buy the dips and spreads that you like and simply grab a table or lay out your blanket and settle in for the day. On offer are taramasalata, tzadsiki, pork rillette, chicken liver parfait…….etc.
Tip – head to the tasting table first to see which products you fall in love with before you buy your meze! All of her charcuterie & dips & spreads are laid out for tasting! Next head to the Iona stand to taste their outstanding wines – then head in and place your order. Note that the products are all available on sale as well to take home later!
The apple farm is the perfect spot for the whole family to come and play. There is an endless amount of fun for the kids as they can run up and down the apple orchards and play and explore.
In order to stay in the loop as to when the market days are – please like the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/terramadreElgin. Nicole’s website is under construction http://www.terramadre.co.za – it does however give you a map on how to get there!
The upcoming market dates are 30 Nov, 7, 14 & 21 December
Some more pics to inspire you: