ELZABE WEARS SKIRT, AVANT APPAREL AT EGALITY. SHIRT; ACCESSORIES, HER OWN GINA WEARS DRESS, AVANT APPAREL AT EGALITY. BANGLE, PICHULIK. EARRINGS, QUAZI DESIGN AT EGALITY STHANDIWE WEARS DRESS, METALICUS AT EGALITY. EARRINGS, PICHULIK. SHOES, ZARA PHILLIPPA WEARS OWN CLOTHES. NECKLACE, HABITS FOR WEAR TO BUY, SEE PAGE 176 PRODUCTS AND PRICES CHECKED AT TIME OF GOING TO PRINT*, SEE PAGE 176
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Cookbook author and food writer Phillippa Cheifitz, 74, lives in Camps Bay with her husband Robert, 81. Their two grown-up children and their grandchildren live in New York.
My latest book, The Supper Club, is based on a group of food lovers I’m a part of.
There are eight of us, including two of my cousins and a chef friend. We all adore cooking, so we get together once a month to create a culinary treasure-chest of slow-cooked dishes made using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Everyone takes a turn to host, and we carefully prepare a menu with flavours that work well together. It’s a welcome break from the simplified meals we’re so used to in day-to-day life.
Originally, I was on track to becoming a psychologist. I was lucky that, while growing up, my mom and gran were both fantastic in the kitchen, so I wasn’t really expected to help out, but after I became a mom, my studies took a backseat. With more time spent at home, I started honing my cooking skills. I bought one of Julia Child’s cookbooks, and worked my way through it from beginning to end, just like in the movie Julie & Julia! I first became a food stylist by chance, when an art-director friend of mine admired how I presented my dishes the rest, as they say, is history.
I think it’s important to make time for romance because, after all, we all fire off love. Robert and I have been married for almost 50 years, and we still enjoy each other’s company. We do the things we love together, like taking long walks around the neighbourhood, stopping for breakfast or lunch halfway. I’m lucky that he loves food just as much as I do, so we have plenty of old favourites to choose from, if we aren’t trying out somewhere new. We also enjoy playing bridge, and have met a lot of new people at the different clubs we play at.
On a stunning Saturday, nothing beats browsing around our local farmers’ market. The Oranjezicht City Farm Market Day has an abundance of fresh fruit and veg from their nearby farm, and I have to make sure I don’t go there without some thought of what I want, or I end up buying far too much! It’s set up next to the sea at the V&A Waterfront, and is the ideal setting for letting my thoughts drift over a cup of freshly brewed coffee after shopping.
Robert and I have a secret escape in Paternoster. We’ve owned a modest beach house there for years. It’s so peaceful, we hear little more than the sounds of the sea. We spend hours taking walks along the beach, dipping our toes in the icy Atlantic water to cool down, ending off watching a spectacular sunset over the ocean. Food is gorgeously simple – seasonal mussels and crayfish come straight from the fishing boats, and I’ll bake buttermilk pancakes or scones that we’ll eat hot from the oven
with melting butter and home-made jam.
I always return home completely restored.
We often visit our children in New York.
Our first trip there was over 20 years ago, and it’s become a second home for us. I just love the vibrancy of the city – and with all its speciality food shops, markets and restaurants, it’s a food-lovers paradise!
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