Boschendal Heritage Day Farm Feast: 4 People Who Make it Exceptional

Words: Karl Tessendorf

Heritage Day is almost upon us and Boschendal’s talented team are working hard to ensure this Heritage Day Farm Feast is their best and most delicious one yet.

There’s plenty on the cards to cater for all tastes and in true Boschendal style, the entire feast is free-range, organic and all of the produce comes from the farm.

Heritage Day Farm FeastIn keeping with the Heritage Day Farm Feast theme, the event will feature one long communal dining table. The historic Rhône Homestead is the location for this year’s feast and the table will be nestled under the estate’s ancient oak trees. The venue also boasts the largest heritage rose garden in South Africa – the perfect setting for a Heritage Day celebration. We caught up with a few of Boschendal’s star employees to get an idea of what to expect at the feast and to learn what Heritage Day means to them.

Rainer Raschbichler – The Butcher

Rainer Raschbichler is in charge of Boschendal’s Werf Butchery. He’s a trained chef and butcher who learnt the ropes from his father who is a certified German Fleischmeister. He’s passionate about meat and believes in a nose to tail approach.

Heritage Day Farm Feast

Tell us about the ox for this year’s Heritage Day Farm Feast.
Rainer: We’re expecting 250 guests this year so we’re going to be doing a 400 odd kilogram ox. It’s an eight-year old animal so it’s got plenty of fat and good marbling throughout the meat. Because it’s such a big animal it will need to cook for a full 24 hours and I’ll be on site through the night to tend the fire. It’s always a big challenge but I can’t wait to light the fires.

Name one of your favourite South African dishes?
Rainer: For me it’s probably a good old soutribbetjie slow cooked over the coals.

What’s one of your favourite things to cook?
Rainer: I really like the tough cuts of meat that take a long time to cook. Anything from brisket to shin. I love the process of slow cooking and the reward of fall apart tender meat.

What is your favourite food memory?
Rainer: My grandparents always used to come around on a Monday night and I’d cook something special like a brisket. As much as it was about the food, it was also about my family being together and sharing a meal.

What does Heritage Day mean to you?
Rainer: Heritage Day for me is about coming together with friends and family, braaing, and good times.


Christiaan Campbell – The Chef

Christiaan Campbell is Boschendal’s Executive Chef and he’s passionate about farm to table dining. He works closely with Boschendal’s butcher, gardeners and bakers to ensure The Werf Restaurant serves up a one-of-a-kind experience.boschendal farm feast

What can visitors expect at this year’s Heritage Day Farm Feast?
Christiaan: The idea is a continuous flow of farm produce from the kitchen and braai areas to the table. We really want to create a festive atmosphere of communal dining. On the menu we’ve got everything from our signature breads, fire roasted veggies, salads and grilled rösti to pâtés, salmon trout, chicken, sausages and porchetta as well as a host of other dishes.

What does Heritage Day mean to you?
Christiaan: Sharing food with family and friends and hopefully making a few new friends. I love the tradition of Heritage Day, but I also think it’s an exciting time to take a fresh look at South African food classics. With a little creativity there is endless scope for the reinvention of classic recipes and it’s an exciting time.

Name one of your favourite South African dishes?
Christiaan: I’ve always enjoyed a good malva pudding.

What’s one of your favourite things to cook?
Christiaan: That’s a tough one but if I had to choose one, it would be slow roasted lamb.

What is one of your favourite food memories?
Christiaan: One of my best food memories happened in the 90s when I was in Ireland at a place called the K Club. The chef took me to the bar to try something that he had been told he had to have on a menu – a toasted cheese sarmie. He didn’t want to do just any old toasted cheese, so for his version, he sourced the best bread, the best Irish butter and the best cheese that he could find. It was served on a polystyrene plate and it was unbelievably good. Food doesn’t always have to be complicated to be good. My wife and I still talk about that toasted cheese toastie.

Heritage Day Farm Feast Werf Boschendal

Rico Vergotine – The Chicken Farmer

Rico Vergotine is the man in charge of Boschendal’s chickens. He never set out to be a chicken farmer but he happened to be at the right place, at the right time and the bug bit him. He now manages an innovative system of mobile coops that are truly free range. He produces both eggs and broiler chickens for eating.Heritage Day Farm Feast

How are you involved in this year’s Heritage Day Farm Feast?
Rico: My chickens are more involved than I am. I supply eggs to the restaurants and we’ve recently introduced broiler chickens onto the farm, so we can now provide free range chickens for the braai. The chickens are nice and plump which makes for good eating. The butchery also makes awesome chicken sausage.

What does Heritage Day mean to you?
Rico: I love a good braai and Heritage Day is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. Life can get very busy on the farm, so it’s great to just spend a day catching up.

Name one of your favourite South African dishes?
Rico: I think it’s hard to go wrong with a good bobotie. It’s simple, hearty and always a winner.

What’s one of your favourite things to cook?
Rico: It would a toss up between a roast chicken or slow roasted beef short rib.

What is one of your favourite food memories?
Rico: Growing up we had a Sunday pizza tradition. My parents would get pizza for everyone and we’d feast. Ever since then pizza has been one of my favourite foods. I love a good bacon and avo pizza or a fig and blue cheese. I’m a man of simple tastes and I really, really love pizza.

Megan McCarthy – The Garden Manager

Megan McCarthy is trained landscaper, horticulturist and the manager of Boschendal’s sprawling gardens. It’s an extensive job, but with the help of her team, the gardens are kept in pristine condition. The entire operation is organic and sustainable farm practices are utilised to ensure the health of the garden.Heritage Day Farm Feast

What is the garden’s role in this year’s Heritage Day Farm Feast?
Megan: All of the produce for the feast will come straight from our garden. We’ve got a whole range of beautiful veggies, salads, herbs and even edible flowers. It’s an exciting day where we get to showcase the bounty of the garden.

Name one of your favourite South African dishes?
Megan: I come from a mixed-race background with my father being Malay and my mother being a regte boeremeisie, so our food was always a melting pot of the two cultures. I love malva but I also love Asian flavours.

What’s one of your favourite things to cook?
Megan: I am going to have to choose two dishes and go with lamb korma curry and biryani.

What is one of your favourite food memories?
Megan: As I mentioned, my family is a bit of a melting pot and I’ve also got some Italian cousins, so Christmas is always a huge and unconventional affair. We make everything from curries and boerekos to handmade pasta and ice creams. It’s always a great day.

What does Heritage Day mean to you?
Megan: Heritage Day for me is about appreciating where you come from and celebrating your culture with pride.

Heritage Day Farm Feast

Celebrate with your family this year at Boschendal’s Heritage Day Farm Feast

The Boschendal Heritage Day Harvest Feast will take place on Monday 24 September 2018. Tickets cost R550 and R350 for children under 10 years of age. The feast includes a 3-course lunch and welcome drink.

Table seating will be at 12h00 and lunch will be served from 13h00. For bookings please call 021 870 4274 or email and celebrate this year’s Heritage Day in true farm to fork style.

Bookings 021 870 4274 or

boschendal.comboschendal farm feast

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