Bake Off judge Tjaart Walraven on Cape Town

The chef and TV presenter, 31, on craft gin and mood-eating.

I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, and grew up on a farm, two hours southeast of Harare. I left Zimbabwe when I was 19.

What I love most about living in Cape Town is the lifestyle – a fabulous blend of being in Africa, with a real cosmopolitan influence – a great recipe for living!

When out-of-towners come to town, I take them on the Constantia Wine Route, there are some great wineries and restaurants, Steenberg and Bistro Sixteen82 is a great start. Peddlars & Co is an institution – a great place to stop for something other than wine; there’s great food too. A peninsula drive is always fabulous, whatever the weather, rather dramatic when it is overcast. And if they have pounds to spend, I send them on a helicopter flip to experience a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the Cape.

I am a great one for eating according to my mood. You should always go out and have what you feel, but if you end up somewhere that is new, or that you are not so sure of, choose something that they cannot mess up! I usually play it safe and rather enjoy my meal than have a dodgy experience. And let’s be realistic, restaurant chefs do not mean to cook you a bad meal, but they also have high days and low days!

My favourite restaurants are Bistro Sixteen82, Bistro 13 and Bread and Wine at Môreson in Franschhoek.

You’ll always find me at the annual Uncorked Festival in Franschhoek!

My favourite weekend getaway is Plett. Lairds Lodge is a fabulous spot that offers a good dose of ultra-luxury. And for something closer, Robertson has some great quirky places for those times you just want to let loose and have something real and down to earth.

On my bucket list is the combat mission in the Huey Helicopter that takes you over the Cape Peninsula.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but I know of a few good gin spots: Peddlars & Co has some great craft gins; The Gin Bar tucked away in the city is a must; and Tjing Tjing rooftop bar is great too! For the location and a view, you can not beat a G&T at The Cape Grace on the mariner pier.  

I am very fortunate in that my back door leads straight onto the back of the forest and Table Mountain. So, mountain-biking is prolific. I just cannot wait for the Tokai route to Silvermine to reopen. The area is also great for walking and running around.

Banting is a little too little extreme. I just love my bread and bakes far too much… Everything, in moderation.

My tipple of choice is gin. Everyone knows that! I do love wine, and have recently taken a liking to whiskey!

I have been busy with a new restaurant concept that launched recently, called Vibe.

On Sundays I head straight to the winelands for Sunday lunch with friends!

Money makes money, but hard work ultimately pays off!

Tjaart is one of the judges on The Great South African Bake Off, which airs on Tuesday, 18 October at 8pm on BBC Lifestyle (channel 174)

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Time of publication: 01 October 2016