As a food stylist, I have been an admirer of Jacques Erasmus’s work for many years as it appeared regularly in Taste Magazine features. Phenomenally conceptual, he manages to turn food into art in a way that so few people can do without compromising the integrity of the subject. He is the creator and curator of the exquisite city center restaurant Hemelhuijs. Roughly translated it means ‘heavenly house’ and is the manifestation of a man obsessed with all things beautiful.
All his talents merge in this lovely space where the bread gets baked every morning and includes his grandmother’s mosbolletjies, robusta coffee is brewed and the freshest seasonal fruits get juiced. Looking at his array of home-made baked treats on display, he had me at lemon meringue pie. Made in a stylish rectangular tart case with pillows of puffy meringue flowing over the edges, it was love at first sight.
The menu is seasonal, highly innovative but remains fairly simple and focuses on delicious flavours. Everything I ate at the lunch I was invited to last week was delectable.
You will also find homemade preserves and dulce de leche.
So if the lemon meringue pie and the dulce de leche are not enough to convince you, Jacque makes delectable fresh fruit juices and fruit juice drinks. I had the pink grapefruit gin and tonic which was sensational. Not too sweet, a little bit bitter, it’s my new favourite cocktail.
Pink grapefruit gin & tonic
- 2 shots of gin (50ml)
- 150ml tonic
- in a glass with ice
- top it up with freshly squeezed pink grapefruit
- Garnish with a wedge or a slice of fresh grapefruit
This is what the rest of our lunch looked like and you will see what I mean about the meringue:
A visit to Hemelhuijs, will leave you feeling inspired. You’ll be seduced by the creative sophistication but also comforted by the nostalgic and unpretentious authenticity of a creator who believes that art should reach all the senses.
Hemelhuijs, located at 71 Waterkant Street, Cape Town, is open from 9am to 4pm from Monday to Friday and from 9am to 3pm on Saturdays.
Visit the website to get a sense of what Jacque’s style is all about.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.
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