Next time you're on the West Coast, make sure you make a booking at Gaatjie Saltwater Restaurant, which has fast established itself as one of the culinary highlights of a trip to Paternoster.
Set in a simple fisherman's cottage on the town's Voorstrandt beach, it is the brainchild and lifelong dream of Suzi Holtzhauzen, who says she "lives to cook".
She started her vocation in all things food with an intensive three-year Cordon Bleu course at Silwood Kitchen, Cape Town, and specialises in local foods with a twist, made from locally produced ingredients, prepared the West Coast way.
Specialities include West Coast mussel dishes, oysters, sardines, lobster, various fish, and a creation of anything that is fresh and in season. All the food is made to order, with the emphasis on slow cooking.
Suzi describes herself as a chef, restaurant owner, trainer, food demonstrator, cookery course operator, menu developer, culinary consultant, kitchen designer, provenance of ingredients, gardener, and dog lover.
A respected chef once said: "In the culinary profession, it is better to have one year's experience in 20 places than 20 year's experience in one." Using this as her career guideline, Suzi's 20 years in the food industry has produced an excellent of food-related skills for her.
"There are two types of chefs: the creative, charismatic, and then the disciplined organiser," she says, adding that her professional approach contains an essence of both.
Suzi has written books on West Coast cuisine, and also owns Salt Coast Guesthouse in Paternoster.
Contact Suzi at (022) 752 2242 or visit her website.