At this Karoo cookery school in Prince Albert, there’s a preference for produce that’s fresh, local, seasonal and sustainable that borders on reverence. Moreover, where better to discover the roots of South African cuisine than in the breadbasket of the Karoo?
Run by a trio of foodies, the African Relish Cookery School, set in an historic farmhouse, with its own restaurant, is surrounded by fruit trees, and an organic vegetable and herb garden. In the purpose-built state-of-the-art culinary facility, you’ll enjoy views of the olive orchard, Karoo sunshine and kitchen camaraderie, as you dice, stir, and braise your way through the area’s varied produce and rich culinary heritage.
The Karoo cooking school runs scheduled cooking classes, and specialises in, but is definitely not limited to, regional, traditional Karoo cuisine.
Visiting local and international chefs regularly host Master Classes, and cater to all levels of culinary enthusiasm. The emphasis is on teaching people about the diversity and richness of South African cuisine through food appreciation, learning and fun.
Cooking classes are not soley about cooking, but about history, culture, and in the case of the artisan bread-making classes, a little bit of science too. The school also hosts cooking classes for kids, so the whole family can get into the kitchen for bonding and bonhomie as they prepare a family meal.
The interactive cooking demonstrations and classes aren’t limited to the kitchen. Depending on the course you choose, you might prepare traditional lamb potjie one night, or roast organic Karoo venison, under a starry sky. You’ll also tour local markets, visit farms and orchards, meet local food producers, and learn about the history and culinary traditions of the area.
Hell’s kitchen this isn’t. It’s a value-for-money getaway to foodie heaven. You’ll cook and laugh a lot, meet like-minded food lovers, discover new ingredients, and sample the abundance of Karoo hospitality through the regions' food, wine and people.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
African Relish Cooking School
Phone: +27 (0)23 541 1381
Fax: +27 (0)23 541 1386
Mobile: +27 (0)82 319 7031
How to get here
From Cape Town, take the N1. Eighty-four kms north of Laingsburg you will reach the Prince Albert Road. Turn right onto the R407 towards Prince Albert. After 45 km, you will enter the village. Drive approx 2 km along the main road until you reach African Relish on your left.
Around the area
Visit Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp over the Swartberg Mountains.
Tours to do
Hot air ballooning, botanical excursions, farm and dairy tours, wine tasting, geology and rock art, and ghost tours. African Relish can also organise gourmet cycle tours of the Great Karoo.
How to get around
A hire car or tour operator.
What will it cost
Classes range between R3500 – R4800 p/person, inclusive of meals.
Length of stay
Allow 3 days, 2 nights for classes, excluding travelling time.
What to pack
Bring season appropriate clothing, and comfortable, closed shoes for the kitchen.
Where to stay
Limited accommodation is available at the cooking school.
What to eat
Prince Albert is famed for its fresh produce, notably Karoo honey and figs.
The town of Price Albert hosts a very popular olive festival in April each year.
Fresh and dried figs and apricots, Karoo lamb, olives, olive oil, cheese and wine.