Meet our Foodies – Petro Meintjes

Every now and again I am overwhelmed by the love, encouragement and help our team receives from our friends and family. And part of our behind-the-scenes support system is Christine‘s mother Petro.  Lucky for us she lives just a few minutes’ drive away and has send over comforting dishes and sweet treats, while we worked tirelessly to get the blog ready for the launch.

Petro is a creative, generous and stylish woman whom has passed all these great qualities on to her two daughters. When it comes to food related topics, Petro is one of the most knowledgeable people that I have come across. Just walking into her kitchen it is clear that food is taken seriously in the Meintjes household. Petro’s cookbook collections is something foodie dreams are made of. I’ve had the privilege of sharing meals with their family many times and it is always a delicious feast for the senses and eyes.

Petro’s love affair with food started when she was in her 20’s, “I tried to impress my boyfriend with a cake, but instead it flopped. After that cake fiasco I realised that I needed help with my cooking skills”.  Luckily she wasn’t put off by one kitchen disaster and she’s been cooking for him ever since! Petro has such a wealth of knowledge and after 3 ½ years of supporting us behind-the -scenes and sharing her culinary finds and appreciation for food with us, we welcome Christine’s mother as one of our regular food contributors. We’ll be starting a series on herbs soon. So watch this space.


What local ingredients do you like to cook with?

All depending on the season, but any fresh foods and local produce get’s me excited, whether it’s an organic chicken, crispy asparagus or freshly baked bread (especially from an artisan baker). They all inspire me.

Who are your food heroes?

Thomas Keller, Alain Ducasse Roger Verge, Nico Ladenis, Raymond Blanc, Stephany Alexander, Maggie Beer, Niel Perry, Bill Granger and Michel Roux to name a few.

What is your favourite type of meal to cook?

For simple family meal, a braai with lovely fresh side dishes is always a firm favourite. But for a bit more complicated meal, I enjoy cooking classic French dishes. This was the first type of cuisine that I was introduced to when I started my food journey. After living in Dubai for four years, I discovered Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking, and now I have quite an extensive food repertoire.

Do you have a favourite cookbook?

Oh that is a difficult question. I love cookbooks and I think it will be impossible for me to highlight only one book. Over the years, I’ve collected quite a few. I believe each one has added value to my cooking, as each cook or chef has a different approach.
I take great pleasure in cooking and even though my family constantly asks me to open up a restaurant, I prefer to prepare food for the ones I love.

Fondest food memory?

My husband spoiled me with a wonderful meal at Thomas Keller’s restaurant, Per Se, in New York a few years ago.

Can anyone cook?

I always say, if you can read, you can cook!

Any tips for newbie cooks?

Taste your food while you are cooking.  Use the best quality ingredients you can afford and invest in a few good kitchen tools and don’t be scared to explore and try new things.

Favourite restaurants?

Overture, in Stellenbosch, on the Hidden Valley Estate is definitely at the top of my list. I’m also very fond of Jacques Erasmus’s delicious gourmet burgers at Hemelhuijs, in Cape Town; and Margot Jansen’s The Tasting Room, is always a treat.