Elle Deco SA
Images courtesy of Fairview

The Goatshed Restaurant at Fairview, a rare gem of the Paarl Region, once again presents guests with evenings of delightful food and wine pairings. These special evenings are an annual treat. Each dinner explores a culinary theme, inspired by Chef SJ Nel’s international travels. With underfloor heating and wonderful wines, a night at the Goatshed is definitely one to remember. Deco caught up with Chef SJ Nel to find out more about his love for food.  

Tell us a bit about your background?

I have Northern Cape roots and was fortunate to gain experience in British, Swedish and a few South African kitchens.

What is your favourite dish to eat?

Cooking all day does not create cravings for anything fancy. A simple freshly baked roll with sausage, coleslaw, mustard and a beer is what I love.

What is your favourite dish to make?

I am guilty of crowd pleasing and therefore our most popular dish at The Goatshed Restaurant is Braised Fairview Lamb.

Elle Deco SA
Images courtesy of Fairview

What are the most interesting things happening in food right now?

Real top notch ingredients, being prepared simply, served informally, with amazing attitudes, leaving small footprints.

What is your food philosophy?

Getting your hands dirty to bring together flavourful ingredients, from sustainable sources, taking care of the environment while helping people.

What are your guilty pleasures?

Dry aged T-bone steak with a generous piece of fat, matured cheeses and red wine.

Elle Deco SA
Images courtesy of Fairview

Most bizarre thing in your fridge right now?

My wife, Lisa, is keeping me healthy with a variety of nutritious smoothies so I will have to say some of those ingredients – like coconut water, cocoa nibs and organic granadilla pulp.

What is your favourite food memory?

“Potjiekos” with my father, mastermind snack platters with my mother, traditional “padkos” roadtripping with my three sisters and mushroom risotto for my one and only Lisa.

Two flavours that shouldn’t go together but do?

Goats’ milk and caramel.

Advice you wish you were given as a young chef?

Listen to all your mentors, good and bad, you will definitely learn something.


Elle Deco SA
Images courtesy of Fairview

Save the date

9 September

Don’t miss out on the Chef’s Journey – an evening offering an assortment of plates

reminiscent of SJ’s extensive culinary expeditions.

23 September

The Fairview Cheese Celebration happening later in

September offers an opportunity for cheese lovers to sample the farm’s winning selection of fine cheeses and wines.

To make a booking, please email  goatshed@fairview.co.za or call 021 863 3609

Learn more about the Goatshed and Fairview

Visit Fairview.co.za and Goatshed.co.za for more information

Enjoyed this?

Then you may also be interested in reading:

Wine With Cheese

Build The Perfect Cheese Board


Tammy Joubert has a particular interest in decor and architectural design trends and how they coexist with graphic design and art, especially in a South African context. When she’s not illustrating or painting, she enjoys exploring peculiar places in Cape Town, reading Afrikaans Poetry and the occasional glass of red wine.

The Africa Issue is a celebration of the future of design in Africa and its potential to drive change. We explore the concept of ‘Africaness’, what this means for our aesthetic. We also  dream big with bedroom inspiration and take you on a tour of homes that truly embrace the spirit of the continent. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #AfricaIssue