The thrilling news that Overstrand Hermanus was recently awarded UNESCO Creative City status for Gastronomy is a feather in their collective cap and a tribute to the many people who are so passionate about the region. It is one of only 10 cities worldwide to be recognised by UNESCO for Gastronomy in 2019; what’s more it is the first city on the African continent to receive this distinction. Creation’s Carolyn Martin tells the story:

We had so many champions in our community and beyond who put a lot of work into this initiative, and we must pay tribute to Darryl Davids of the University of the Western Cape for instigating and initiating our bid. We had the full backing of our local government led by the Overstrand Mayor, Dudley Coetzee, and the Head of Whale Coast Tourism, Frieda Lloyd.

I’m proud to say that Creation was fully involved in the bid and that we were joined by so many of our partners and friends not only in the Hemel-en-Aarde, but also through pretty much the length and the breadth of the Whale Coast Route, from Rooi-Els to Gansbaai!

Creation has always been at the forefront of preserving and celebrating our pristine environment and its exceptional produce. And so we pay tribute to our local fishermen, our cheesemakers, our winemakers, our farmers, our gelato producers, our beekeepers, our local chefs and restaurateurs, and our brewers. Their success is our success, and vice versa!

Here’s what some of our friends and colleagues have to say about the exciting UNESCO award:

Sean Ingles, GM of Grootbos: “For more than 20 years Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has embodied progressive tourism, protecting our rare and special fynbos environment, uplifting the communities of the Overberg and celebrating local culture. An important part of this is our culinary philosophy – serving only locally produced ingredients, showcasing our spectacular local wines and foraging for fynbos and coastal delicacies to delight our guests. We are deeply committed, through our Grootbos Foundation, to playing a role in developing community entrepreneurs who form a vital part of this supply chain and bring unique products to our kitchens. The Overstrand is a thriving, innovative food destination, bringing together natural resources and all sectors of our economy.”

Marileze Ivanov of Sophia Farm: “It is our belief that if we put our energy and passion into supporting nature, it will reward us with its magnificence. Our entire community can benefit from nature’s gifts. We are fortunate to be surrounded by so many talented and creative people and enterprises and we are grateful to our friends and clients, such as Creation, La Pentola and Pear Tree, who provide an appreciative platform for our produce.”

Charlie Crowther of Glen Oakes:  “I think it’s wonderful that we have ethical producers and that our produce is local. A lot of care is taken in our farming and this attracts more and more people to our region to appreciate what we have to offer. We are naturally reared meat producers, which means our quality is top class and much healthier than factory produced foods. And this is the meat that goes into our restaurants and that is appreciated by our visitors and local community alike. We believe in farming with a conscience and providing information to consumers which allows them to trace the food they choose to eat.”

Gillian Faichnie, co-founder of Glamtrails: “We are incredibly excited to see Hermanus listed as a UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy. We chose to build the Glamtrails experience in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley because we recognised a level of sophistication and innovation in food and wine that in our opinion is unmatched locally, and we wanted to be a part of that. This listing will help in creating awareness of the area as a pocket of excellence in the region.”

Corinne de Haas of the Potter’s Gallery in Kleinmond: “We are proud to be a local Overstrand ceramics studio supplying custom ceramics within the top end restaurant niche market, including the highly successful and world-renowned Creation Wine Estate and their famous tasting kitchen. Our creative team loves the stimulating work we do with Carolyn and her culinary team.”

With so many advocates for our region, and a spirited community that rallies behind whatever new and exciting project comes next, we have so much to be thankful for!

Written by Carolyn Martin from Creation

Published November 2019