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Celebrity chef Piet Huysentruyt brings his Michelin-starred restaurant to Franschhoek for a limited time only

Posted on Fri February 2, 2018.

For a short window of time in March, South Africans will have the rare opportunity to dine at an authentic French restaurant in Franschhoek. Chef Piet Huysentruyt is bringing his Michelin-starred Likoké Restaurant to us in the form of a pop-up eatery and the foodies are already buzzing. In this blog, we’re going to attempt to answer some of your questions about this special event and let you in on what the food bloggers are saying.

First of all, what is a Michelin Star and why should I care?

The Michelin Guide is a restaurant rating system started by the Michelin company in an effort to sell more tyres. The idea was to give road-trippers a guide of restaurants that are either worth a visit as part of the trip (one star), worth a detour (two stars) and worth a special journey (three stars). Today, the Michelin Guide is a hallmark of fine dining restaurants in Europe, the Americas and parts of Asia, and it is now making its way to Africa – for a limited time only. Chef Piet Huysentruyt has taken his Michelin-starred restaurant on a world tour, starting in his hometown in Belgium, stopping over in Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, and finally ending in Franschhoek.

Why would a celebrity chef end off his culinary world tour in Africa?

First of all, if you’re thinking, “A world tour? Isn’t that something that rock bands do?”, you’d be right. It is, in fact, his love for rock and roll that inspired Chef Piet to follow in the footsteps of so many great musicians and to take his talent on a world tour. And if you’re wondering why Africa, well, you might be surprised to know that Chef Piet has roots in the harsh African soil.

Chef Piet’s father grew up in colonial Congo and the locals gave him the nickname, Likoké – which is the name of a fish in Congolese waters that is very hard to catch. When he opened up his eatery in the Rhône Valley in France, Chef Piet knew that Likoké was the perfect name for it and when he started planning his world tour, he felt compelled to get back to his African roots. This is what he has to say about Likoké’s philosophy:

“Everything at Likoké has always been about a story, about roots, soul, emotion and art.”

Finally, is it worth the trip?

The celebrity chef is known for his rebellious and unconventional combinations of ingredients and for coining the phrase 'food porn'. For his pop-up in Franschhoek, you can expect 12 - 15 courses of French cuisine with a South African twist. We don’t have a Michelin Guide to tell us if it is worth the trip, but we do have food bloggers that have had a taste of what is to come (albeit not the full-experience). And what do they say? Is it worth the trip? Decide for yourself: read some of the blogs here, here and here.

So, will you make the trip?

People from all over South Africa are making plans to visit pop-up Likoké in Franschhoek and accommodation is getting booked up fast. If you want to make use of this rare opportunity to enjoy locally inspired, French cuisine prepared by a Michelin-rated chef, make sure to book your table and your accommodation soon.

We’re running a fantastic Summer Special for anyone who wants to stay in a renovated, 19th-century French residence in Franschhoek. Click on the link to get more details about the special and click here to see if we have any more rooms available for your Likoké dates.

Bon appétit!

Details of Likoké in Franschhoek:

Opening times: 28 February – 15 March 2018

Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday, 7 pm – 11 pm

Lunch: Thursday  – Saturday, 12 pm – 3 pm

Contact: 071 365 9612, [email protected]

Place: The Conservatory, Klein Kastaiing, Happy Valley Road, Franschhoek


Photo credits: Eat Out Magazine; PDSIGN Photography; Pieter D'Hoop