Category / Food

The Artisan Baker

Posted on 29 July 2011 by Stefan Blank

With Woodstock becoming the ‘it’ place, we sometimes forget that a lot of hard work and faith goes into the various projects that have sprung up over the last few years. While the Neighbourhood Market in the Biscuit Mill is without a doubt a force for good, the success of the Saturday market has not yet translated into everyday street life such as Long/Kloof Street or even Lower Main Rd., Observatory. The hope of course is that Albert Rd. Woodstock (or anywhere in Woodstock for that matter) becomes a thriving place any time during the week and not just on the weekend.

One of the people very much aware of this is Ernie Seegers of ‘The Artisan Baker’, a newish venture on Albert Rd, just at the entrance to the Biscuit Mill (going for just over 2 and a half months now). He has been involved in Woodstock in some form or other for more than 10 years (his wife runs Annie’s Angels, the Wardrobe & Fancy Dress hire store which is well-known in the film industry and just around the corner in Salt River Rd.); and he has stated he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else than Woodstock. They even live upstairs from the Bakery.

In any case, I’m sure you’ve all experienced the Biscuit Mill on a Saturday. If you’ve slept in like most of us, managed to find legal parking, and gotten your weekly exercise walking to the Biscuit Mill, the sometimes overwhelming crowd in the food market may just be a little too intimidating. The wonderful thing though, is that it’s now possible to have your cake and eat it too in the warmth and comfort of The Artisan Baker where you can safely watch the crowds go by.

With more than 35 years in the film industry under his belt, many of those as an art director, Ernie Seegers finally decided to start his lifelong dream of having his own bakery/bistro. He has even had a pair of oven doors in tow for the last 24 years and they proudly take central place as the doors to his wood-fired oven, where all the wonderful breads, pies and foods are made.

He is not a trained baker/chef but rather is self-taught which he sees as an advantage over the more traditional model of the ‘trained’ chef, as he feels it allows him more freedom to experiment. It started out as a hobby that became increasingly important as he baked for friends and family over the last 10 years, getting the recipes right, which we can now taste for ourselves.

His aim is to make authentic dishes, the way they are supposed to be made; he describes the food he makes as “honest food made good”. The menu is certainly not limited to French dishes, even if the venue has a warm and rustic French atmosphere. As an example, he mentions the chili con carne he makes, and emphasizes that he is always looking to experiment with new dishes (also definitely worth trying are the ‘steak, chocolate and chilli’ pies). The menu includes cakes, croissants, pies and various warm baked meals, as well as a Charcuterie with a wide selection of meats (all made on the premises). We asked him what he is most proud of and after a little thought, said he would probably choose the rustic sour dough with chopped pecan nuts, olives, Italian herbs, and grated lemon rind. Yummy.

So if you’re in the neighbourhood, pop into The Artisan Baker. It already has a growing number of regular customers.

The Artisan Baker is open for breakfast and lunch every week day and Saturday.

They also cater for private functions and dinner clubs and menus can be made to order.

Visit the Artisan Baker webpage. And the Facebook page is here.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Says:

    Ernies chocolate chilli steak pies are the best in Cape Town!Yes the beef burgundy is a close second…. friends Roshan and Soli both love the chicken..i’m sure i’ll try that next!

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. The Best of Woodstock, Cape Town Says:

    [...] Deli across the road also has delicious lunch specials. Another highlight are the hearty pies at The Artisan Baker, (I Iove the Beef and Burgundy pie so much I have never been able to order something else, but I [...]

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