When Joke Gonggryp and her husband Just and son Daan first saw Dutchies on Grotto Beach, they knew they could not have found a more perfect locations.
Determined to turn Dutchies into a top destination restaurant, all they had to do was to revamp the kitchen.
“I knew I needed a real chef,” says Joke, “and to me the key word was ‘passion’.”
Enter Rebecca Matthysen, who not only trained at The Culinary Academy, but had since worked at various top establishments such as the award winning Ginja Restaurant in Cape Town, the luxury Hunters Country Lodge near Plettenberg Bay and Schulphoek Guest House in Sandbaai.
When she left Rivendell Bistro, where she was the head chef for the last two years, Rebecca decided to explore her options and look for something that would be the “right fit” for her.
And when these two passionate women met, it was a natural fit for both Joke and Rebecca, whose grandparents were Dutch immigrants.
“Being at Dutchies is like being part of one big family,” sayd Rebecca. “Joke is mom to everyone.” While Joke felt she wanted to “bring the kitchen to a higher level”, she also wanted to preserve the Dutch character of the restaurant.
“I’m learning all about Dutch food at the moment,” says Rebecca. “It’s deliciously simple and wholesome – real winter food.”
And of course she is also experimenting with adding her own personal touch to traditional Dutch dishes such as bruine bonensop, erwtensoep, hutspot, nasigoreng, wentelteefjes and poffertjes.
“We want to offer something different every day in addition to the basic dishes. We also offer a Sunday roast every week now, which is already very popular.”
Rebecca and her team will be preparing the canapes for the official opening of the Hermanus FynArts at the synagogue this Friday evening. Dutchies is also sponsoring a lunchtime concert featuring Palm Strings in the Anglican Church on Friday 14 June.
Dutchies is now open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.