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Mariana's Cookbook is Cooking-hot

by Linza de Jager

No-one was surprised when Mariana Esterhuizen, owner and chef of Mariana's Country Kitchen in Stanford, romped home with the Best newcomer Award at the recent Sunday Times Cookbook Awards. 

Exterior of Mariana700

Her winning entry was her cookbook, Mariana's Country Kitchen. It got her the award, a tasty R10,000 cash prize and a R5,000 Pick 'n Pay voucher.

As a foodie I can only say 'amen' to Mariana's win. I've eaten once at her restaurant and the meal is imprinted on my mind.

Mariana in kitchen700

Mariana is a kitchen goddess in the tradition of our mothers.  She uses  produce from her 1200 m² vegetable garden in Du Toit Street, which is a good start.  But more importantly, she tries to be happy when she cooks, because says she, “I believe you have to be happy when you cook. Bad mood has a way of sitting in things.”


I had a shoulder of lamb on that momentous day.  It came from a young "twee tand skaap" that had gambolled over the fields of the Overberg. It was accompanied by plump cherry tomatoes, beetroot and broad beans. It was robust and tasty, just like my momma's food. In fact, it took me back to my momma's farm kitchen, as did the atmosphere on the back stoep overlooking the sprawling garden.

When you don't have a momma any more, and long for her cooking, Mariana's is the next best thing. Which is saying a lot.

Marianas contact details: 12 Du Toit Street, Stanford / 028 341 0272 / marianas@stanfordvillage.co.za


Written by Linza de Jager

Photos:  Linza de jager

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