Q&A: Thato Goimane, Assistant Food & Beverage Manager

What made you want to join The Homestead team?

I’m all about wildlife conservation and when the opportunity came, I thought it was a beautiful opportunity for me to venture into that aspect of life and to add to my experience within the food and beverage space.


What do you enjoy most about working in Food & Beverage?

For me it’s really about being of service, being of service to people. The food and beverage space has offered a lot in the past 15 years, I remember 30 years ago it was really really big portions of food and now with the new trends things have changed to small portions, molecular cooking and gastronomy. I love the space and to see the evolution within the service industry and how it has become, it keeps me in the loop of what’s happening in the space.


What is The Homestead doing that makes its Food & Beverage offering special?

I think what we’ve done at The Homestead, especially with the food and beverage, we’ve taken more ideas to the next level; how we source our ingredients that we’re going to be using, even our wines that we’ve sourced, it's really small producers that make it special for people. And then also the services we’ll be offering, there’s different style of coffee that we will be offering, we’ll be doing a beautiful tea ceremony that will take anywhere from an hour up to 2 hours. So I think those are some of the special touches we’ll have at The Homestead.

What exactly is a tea ceremony?

A tea ceremony is a classic exercise where you sit with one of our experts and be guided through tea with great conversations. How you brew your first pot of tea, how it tastes, to your second pot of tea, some of these tea ceremonies will go up to 15 pots of tea. Our guests will experience the subtle different flavours the longer the leaves are used for multiples brews of the tea, with more layers of complexity adding to the taste with every brew. But it’s all really about conversation over tea, which comes in beautiful porcelain pots and cups. The tea ceremonies are a great way to engage with our guests, learn about them and help them to learn more about the place that they’re in. It is a Taiwanese tradition of sharing great tea that we will share with our guests as part of the conversation and experience.


Can you tell us more about the wine experience?

Firstly the wine list will really encompass all wine producing countries in the whole world, everywhere from Greece, Italy, Spain as well as France, being a bigger wine producing country. Our wine list will be 50% international wines and 50% South African wines, really focusing on small producers and classic world famous producers. We will have beautiful wine tastings in the evening, especially at The Captain's Table where we will pair wines with tasting menus for the guest. It’s really exciting, we have 3 pages of wines that are named Peace, Love and Understanding, based on the ruins. These wines tell beautiful stories, for example, there’s a lady who used to work on an estate as an Au Pair and now she works on the estate making wine or the story of great friends who make one of the best bordeaux-style blends in the world, one friend from KZN and the other from the Western Cape. My favorite story is of, what I call, the craziest winemaker in South Africa who is based in Swartland. It’s exciting for me to create things like that, whilst also having another 40-60 pages of wine to choose from. Prepare for a good read!

How would you like a guest to feel when they leave The Homestead?

I would like the guest to feel at home, to feel a sense of place and a sense of history. Surrounded by world class service that’s unpretentious, to feel the whole holistic experience that’s filled with love and storytelling, as well as education.


What is your favorite animal and why?

My favorite animal by far is a Buffalo. I’ve been told we are related to the buffalo, it's our clan name and our clan animal, we are very close to it. It is by far my favorite animal, when I see it, I see my people.