The Truffle Journal September 23, 2017
Tucked away in Elgin, just after Peregrine off the N2 is a little known spot called Terra Madre.
Run by the tenacious Nicole Precoudis and her parents Chris & Koula, this slice of heaven really is all about the farm to table experience and the quality of produce speaks for itself.
I first heard about Terra Madre through a friend. She guessed that it would be right up my alley, and she was right.
As you arrive, you are overwhelmed with the tremendous spectacle a beautifully run farm can be.
Greeted by rows of olive trees, apple orchards and veggie gardens; I was excited to find out more about this 18,5 hectare property.
The concept of the eatery is good honest food, grown organically and prepared with oodles of love.
Nicole shared her journey with me; from the fast-paced lifestyle of owning and running 2 restaurants in Johannesburg to the epiphany that saw her acknowledge that she needed (and wanted) to slow down and make changes in her life.
Nicole made the move to (a then) very rural Elgin over 10 years ago, purchased the farm and has been developing it ever since.
Opening Terra Madre was a natural, organic manifestation of her innate creativity which is more than apparent in the food that she serves.
The space is open and bright with limited seating so booking is essential and highly recommended.
Nicole set out to create a space that is warm and welcoming.
Her Greek heritage certainly shines through in the sublime simplicity of the venue and the inclusive attitude of our hosts, who were insistent that we make ourselves at home.
My entire family ended up coming along on this excursion and I’m happy that they did!
In a superb display of unplanned storyline congruency, we filled the venue with our own inadvertent spirit of “familia” in true Mediterranean style.
Now what can I say about the food?… The platters just kept coming! Perfectly tender roasted fennel bulbs, earthy beetroot salads and tender sweet roasted butternut topped with walnuts and cranberries almost caused a riot with the vegetarians in my “hunting” party.
Of course, it goes without saying that the meat dishes were cooked to perfection and were hastily devoured by the more devout members of the carnivorous variety.
I quickly realized that although it was simple food prepared perfectly, paying homage to the ingredients, it was nothing short of a ‘feast fit for a king’.
The food was simply spectacular and the passion that drives Terra Madre behind the scenes; from the pasture to the plate translates into something explosive on the palate.
Sitting and feasting with family is one of life’s simple pleasures. To be able to share an amazing place like Terra Madre with them was truly wonderful and I can honestly say that it was the perfect location for a family get together.
We ended our day with a stroll on the property and sipped on ciders at the farm’s quarry at sunset.
The stillness of Elgin is infectious.
Who knows, maybe one day I will become a country bumpkin and move away from the city only to serve mouth watering food that guests will travel far and wide to appreciate.
Until then, one thing is certain… I know where to make my escape when the mind calls for slow living.
A huge thank you to my brother Hendré for this beautiful video that did justice to this wonderful location! Hit play to see more!