24 Feb In Good Consicence – Tuis Tydskrif
An enthusiastic foodie is rooting his green credentials in picturesque Paarl, living and working in a repurposed attic.
– By Wicus Pretorius, Photographs Jan Ras, Styling Kim Bougaardt. September 2016
In the heart of Southern Paarl, around the corner from KWV, you’ll find the space where chef and entrepreneur Mynhardt Joubert has feathered a nest for himself in an old building with panoramic views of Paarl Rock.
It doubles as both a living area and workplace. It’s his way of “treading lightly” on the planet by limiting his footprint to a single space where he does recipe development, presents food demonstrations, and rests his weary bones at the end of the day.
And Mynhardt wouldn’t want it any other way. “Before I moved in here, I lived on a farm in the Paardeberg area but when I became a KWV brand ambassador, I wanted to move to town,” he explains. “I started looking for a place to stay and one day I drove past this building. The moment I walked in, I thought: ‘Wow!’”
And that’s how he came to call an old attic his home. “I love the way that natural light floods in through the windows and how it changes during the day – thanks to the high roof. It’s also close to the station and to KWV so I don’t have to drive anywhere.
A fresh take
When Mynhardt moved in two years ago, “there was only a washbasin in the bathroom” but gradually he was able to add his creature comforts of choice.
The 12-seater dining room table is from local TV series Makietie which he starred in with Tiaan Langenegger after the two of them won the first season of Afrikaans cooking show Kokkedoor on kykNET.
After consulting with the owner of the building, Amor Strauss, Mynhardt decided to install the large central island where he can cook while friends gather around the big table. Where the roof meets the floor, they built a walk-in pantry on one side and a scullery on the other – perfect for this type of open-plan space.
You can clearly see from the décor elements Mynhardt has used throughout his home that he’s committed to the creative use of recycled items rather than buying new ones.
One such example is the innovative storage solution he has installed for his pots and pans above the kitchen island (previous page). Mynhardt hunted high and low for something like this but he says the units he saw were either “completely overdone” or “insanely expensive”. Then he came across old burglar bars that had been chucked out when the shops below were being renovated.
“The only thing I bought new was the chain from which to hang it,” he says proudly. The lights, previously fixtures in a clothing shop window, were a gift from the neighbours. “I studied musical theatre and my home is something of a stage, I guess. People come here for a ‘performance’ – to see me cook. They eat together and learn together. I can move these lights and position them exactly where I want them.
“Shortly after 4am, the first train pulls into the station and soon after, there’s the hustle and bustle of taxis and commuters. I savour this slice of South African daily life right here on my doorstep.” – Mynhardt
More about Mynhardt
He made his name as joint winner of the kykNET series Kokkedoor in 2013, but Mynhardt has been in the food industry for years. His restaurant in Riebeek-Kasteel, Bar-Bar Black Sheep, was a very popular eatery in the quaint country town. It has since closed down.
The food show Makietie followed Kokkedoor and back then his plan was to do catering. But then KWV came calling… Nowadays, he creates online content for KWV, helps with media launches and hosts food workshops for groups of up to 30 people at his home.