It is said that Franschhoek is the gourmet capital of South Africa, amongst stiff competition from neighbouring Stellenbosch and I think Bree Street in the Cape Town city centre can certainly give it a run for that title these days. Franschhoek is home to some top notch wine estates, beautiful small hotels and brimming with chefs creating world class meals at their restaurants. And one of those meals worth taking the car and getting to Franschhhoek is Chef Neethling of La Petite Ferme’s 16 Hour Slow Roasted Lamb Wrapped in Aubergine. I had the pleasure of having the lamb for lunch a short while back and happily left with some inspiration from Chef Neethling for this Crumbed Pork Chops with Apple Sage Mash recipe.

La Petit Ferme La Petit Ferme

La Petit Ferme means The Small Farm and the food at this boutique winery is country style but with a contemporary twist. For Chef Neethling the food he serves must be easily identifyable and not extravagant. “It’s modern country kitchen but slightly toned down to please the clientele”, he says as I photograph some of the dishes on the menu. And even though he follows trends, he chooses trends selectively as he is careful of being too trendy and the restaurant losing it’s identity in the process.

Prosciutto Wrapped Camembert, Rocket Pesto, Fig Preserve, Almond Salad

Prosciutto Wrapped Camembert, Rocket Pesto, Fig Preserve, Almond Salad

Braised Rabbit, Apple Mustard Sauce, Baby Vegetables, Creamy Polenta

Braised Rabbit, Apple Mustard Sauce, Baby Vegetables, Creamy Polenta

La Petit Ferme

Vanilla Brulee, Fresh Berries, Sable Biscuit

I chat to Chef Neethling about some of his favourites and spices are right on the top of his list of favourite ingredients, star anise to be precise. It is a spice that can be used in almost any cuisine, not just Asian or Indian, and works for savoury or sweet dishes. At home his fridge will have a decent amount of cheese and there will always be chutney, Mrs Balls, of course. When I ask him what he cooks when he does not feel like cooking his answer without hesitation is Boerewors Hotdogs. But he hastens to add, not just any old boerewors hotdog, it comes with all the trimmings.

La Petit Ferme

La Petit Ferme

As we left, Chef Neethling shared his Leg of Rabbit with Apple Mustard Sauce recipe with me. Fresh rabbit can be a bit tricky to find so I decided to make a pork dish rather. It was a cold and rainy day in Cape Town and comfort food was top of mind. I took some of the elements of his dish like the mustard and apple to create these tasty pork chops.Crumbed Pork with Apple Sage Mash

The chops are smeared with mustard for flavour and to hold the breadcrumbs. The apple mash idea comes from Donna Hay. It is not sweet at all but the apples add a slight tart sweetness to the potatoes that marries so well with the pork. For the crumbs I used some Corn Flakes crumbs but you can use regular breadcrumbs that are quite dry or panko crumbs.

Crumbed Pork with Apple Sage Mash

Crumbed Pork with Apple Sage Mash

And of course you have to have sage with pork. Since the leaves are chopped up raw I used them sparingly as to not overpower the mashed potato.

Some more images of my visit to La Petite Ferme:

Crumbed Pork Chops with Apple Sage Mash


  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp garlic flakes
  • salt and cracked black pepper to season
  • 2 tsp mild English mustard
  • 4 pork chops
  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
  • 3 green apples, peeled, cored and roughly cubed
  • a few sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • good knob of butter
  • salt and cracked black pepper to season


  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C
  2. Place the breadcrumbs, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl
  3. Mix to combine and set aside
  4. Rub the mustard over the pork chops and roll in the breadcrumb mixture
  5. Place on a lined oven tray and roast for 10 minutes
  6. Turn the chops over and roast for another 7 – 10 minutes until golden and cooked through
  7. While the pork is roasting, make the mash by placing the potatoes and apples in a large pot with salted cold water
  8. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 10 – 15 minues)
  9. Drain, return to the pot and mash with the butter
  10. Season to taste and stir in the chopped sag
  11. Serve immediately with the pork chops
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Our next Food Photography Workshop is taking place the 15th of May 2016. There are a few spots left so do let me know if you would like to attend. More details here.

Disclaimer : I was an invited by Red Carpet Concepts to visit La Petit Ferme and photograph the food for

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