Overture – Chef Bertus Basson
Bertus started cooking at the age of 17, at the age of 19 he moved to London where he spent most of his time at a 1 star Michelin restaurant in Wandsworth, called Chez Bruce.
Bertus attributes his love for fine fresh ingredients to working with Bruce Poole. On his return to South Africa he opened the Arabella Hermanus as one of the Sous Chefs. During his time here he excelled in cooking competitions, and has represented South Africa in all the world’s best cooking challenges, including the Bocuse d Or, Culinary Olympics and the Global Chefs Challenge. At age 25 he opened his first business, All Things Culinary, along with Craig Cormack his business partner. This quickly became a very successful catering operation. The next project- Overture Restaurant- opened its doors in November 2007 under the partnership of Bertus and Craig on the picturesque Hidden Valley wines in Stellenbosch. The daily changing menu consists of 10 dishes based on fresh, local, seasonal and sustainable produce and offers a wine pairing option which predominantly uses Hidden Valley Wines. The wine list is small and eclectic and focuses on interesting wines from small wineries in the Stellenbosch area. Since opening Overture has accumulated several awards: privileged enough to have been included in the TOP 10 of the DSTV AND FOOD NETWORK EAT OUT AWARDS for four years running and also being awarded 3 Stars in the Rossaouws guide 2 years in a row. Bertus is currently involved with many creative food projects , but his love for restaurants remain as he spends most of his days slinging pots at Overture. In 2010, Bertus and Craig opened up Sofias at Morgenster , in a delightfull old building on the property, Craig cooks classical inspired dishes with great ingredients. Craig Also heads the catering oufit and a newly launched salt range called Amouleh.
Other current projects include BERTUSBASSON, a concultancy and catering company, a wine range called Collaboration wines with Wine maker Louis Nel, the operation of Ama Zink- an African dining experience in Kayamandi Township and the next restaurant is already in its planning stages.
Sofia’s – Chef Craig Cormack
Craig Cormack has been in the restaurant industry for the past 24 years, and has worked at most of the Cape’s top 5 star properties, heading places like Ellerman House, Cape Grace etc.
He is very involved in the industry, being a member of the South African Chefs Association, and was previously Chairman of SACA for 2 years and the vice counsilier culinaire for the Chaine Des Rottisseurs bailage du Cap. He is also on the board of directors of the culinary academy.He has travelled abroad many times, working in Mauritius and turkey and representing South Africa at various food promotions.
In 2001, Craig left South African shores for 5months, to do get inspiration and go on a food sabbatical to New Zealand and Australia. He spent a great deal of time in the culinary capital Melbourne eating, visiting and working with produce from the local markets Craig’s unusual and passionate interest in salt has led him on a five
year journey, sourcing and pairing foods with salt and wine. This has never been done by chefs before. It has resulted, through a great deal of work, into a close relationship with various wine estates in pairing their wines with salt and offering a tasting/ pairing of interest.This fascination with salt has grow into the production of his own salt label, working with health spa’s, doing talks and seminars and ultimately to a rated appellation of salt regions in South Africa.
Craig has in his collection 92 of a possible 180 salts from all over the world.
“I am inspired by everyday as each day there is something exciting in my business, from opportunity to something interesting, to new produce or suppliers to adventure – you name it – there is never a dull moment”.
He is currently based Sofia’s at Morgenster, where he is the chef patron and business partner in in both Sofia’s and Overture restaurants.
Craig also runs an In-home dining business/ creative catering business, called Chefs on The Move.