We are delighted to welcome David Schubach as our Rare Earth Retreats Executive Chef. He is currently based in Plettenberg Bay at The Old Rectory Hotel & Spa and proudly launching its brand new menu. We chatted to David about his new role, what makes dining at The Old Rectory so wonderful and what guests can expect from the new dining experience.

What makes dining at The Old Rectory Hotel & Spa so special?

Over and above everything, it is the tranquility of The Old Rectory Hotel & Spa that surprises so many. You are so close to Plettenberg Bay town and yet it’s calm, like you have escaped to Neverland. Under the beautiful milkwood trees on our deck by the pool, time really does stand still. It’s also just a short walk from the beach, so you can enjoy an afternoon stroll on Hobie, followed by a glass or two of Kay and Monty Champu and a relaxed dinner under the stars.

The Old Rectory has a brand new menu, what can guests expect from their dining experience?

I’ve worked hard to keep the menu concise - I want people to feel as though they are a part of my family and that I am cooking specifically for them. Although we are fine dining, I believe our understanding of ‘fine dining’ has changed over the last ten years. It’s not about lots of different knives and forks or starched tablecloths, rather it’s about great food made from beautiful, locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible and superb wine, and in terms of service, our challenge is knowing exactly what our guests need without them needing to ask.

Can you tell us more about your vision for The Old Rectory’s dining experience?

Right now I am focusing on each and every plate, making sure we surpass the expectations of all of our guests so that they choose to return regularly to try new dishes on the menu. I’m a new chef in town so this really is my priority.

In time, I will be working towards sourcing 90% of my ingredients from within a 200km radius of the restaurant. There are some phenomenal producers in the area and building relationships with them benefits the whole community. I would also love to celebrate more vegetables as the heroes of many of my dishes. Locally sourced, sustainable produce - that’s the name of the game.

Can you give us a few examples of new dishes on the menu?

These are a few of the items on our recently launched lunch menu:

  • Salt and pepper squid with pineapple, avocado emulsion, spring onion, chilli and corn.

  • Fish cakes with marinated courgette, edamame and herbs.

  • Beetroot tart with feta cream, balsamic and a herb salad.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired and influenced by everyone I come into contact with on a daily basis, as well as chefs I have worked with in the past. Ivor Jones and Jason Kosmas are two chefs in South Africa who I really admire. I have been fortunate enough to work with both of them and hopefully we can work together again in the future.

Book your table at The Old Rectory Hotel & Spa in Plettenberg Bay by calling us on  044 533 1201. Everyone is welcome.