We feel lucky to have Executive Chef Kristine Moodie overseeing the dining experience at  The Old Rectory and Kay and Monty Vineyards. Her cuisine emphasises fresh, organic ingredients and creative concepts, and she is dedicated to ensuring that every meal is unforgettable. We chatted to her about her new role and culinary background, her approach to food and her plans for our Plettenberg Bay properties.

Tell us a little bit about your role.

As the Executive Chef, I oversee two of Rare Earth's properties in Plettenberg Bay, The Old Rectory and Kay and Monty. I am involved in designing the menus, all the staff and service training, and all aspects pertaining to the dining experience - this is a very hands on role. The two properties are very different and I love that I get to be creative with both in their own way.

... and your culinary background?

I studied at Silwood School of Cookery and obtained my Cordon Bleu. After this I worked in the UK at No. 5 Bond Street, in Franschhoek at Allee Bleue, in Dubai at the Jumeriah Hotel and at the Mhondoro Game Reserve. I have worked in five star establishments my whole career and have worked my way through the ranks.

Describe your approach to food and your food philosophy.

Organic, fresh and innovative. I don't believe in certain guidelines when it comes to cooking. I am aware of trends but try and be a trend-setter instead of following what has already been done.

How does a typical day at The Old Rectory play out for you?

My typical day at The Old Rectory starts with a cup of coffee and a meeting with kitchen staff. We are changing the menus constantly, so it's always exciting. We then run into service and I am very active on the floor, talking to guests and making sure they enjoyed what we produced. I love the intimacy that a boutique hotel offers and you really get to know your guests.

Can you share any of your plans for Kay and Monty and The Old Rectory with us?

We are always looking for new ideas when it comes to both properties and we don't want to become complacent. My plans for The Old Rectory are to provide consistent high quality and stay innovative in the industry. As for Kay and Monty, we believe the same ethos carries across and it will become a top destination for weddings. 

First thing you learnt to cook?

The first dish I prepared was a roux with blue colouring, I was about five years old and was trying to make something different for my mother. The culinary talents only showcased at a later stage!

Top three favourite ingredients to cook with?

Fresh herbs, butter and lemon!

The Old Rectory's carefully crafted menu, impeccable service and historic setting is perfect for an intimate, 5-star dinner; and Kay and Monty's platters to share, colourful salads and wine tasting against a backdrop of rolling vineyards makes it ideal for a long, lazy lunch. Get in touch now to join us for lunch or dinner.