Damhuis Cookbook: Recipes and Memories of a House is more than just a recipe book – it’s a collector’s item that captures the rich history of the Cape and celebrates delicious South African food, fresh ingredients and memories made around the table with family and friends.

In 2009, Dirk and Reinet Nagtegaal became the owners of Damhuis Restaurant, a popular eatery in Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape. Together with executive chef, Stèfan Meintjes, they put together the Damhuis cookbook that contains their favourite traditional South African recipes.

Over ten carefully curated chapters, the book explores the history of the historical Damhuis building and the people who occupied it from 1776 to 1814. In each chapter, Reinet Nagtegaal, the late award-winning writer, pens essays that draw on available historical facts and deftly colours in any missing links with elements of fiction like only a wordsmith of her calibre could.

Each stunningly compiled chapter in the Damhuis cookbook is themed, and includes musings about the building’s first inhabitants’, Krisjan and Gesina Brand, marriage; the construction of the Fisherman’s Tent, which would later become the Damhuis Restaurant we know and love; and the Battle of Blaauwberg, which saw the Dutch and the English at war and forced the Brands to temporarily flee the property.

The chapters are then complemented by easy, delicious recipes dreamt up by Dirk and Stèfan, some of which are favourites prepared daily in the Damhuis Restaurant kitchen.

Damhuis Cookbook: Recipes and Memories of a Home is a celebration of history, people and food and is an ideal gift or addition to your coffee table. You can buy a copy at our restaurant or by sending an email to info@diedamhuis.o.cza