FOOD IS CULTURE

Our culinary club concept evolved over years of experience serving our discerning clientele. To start with, we will focus on cooking workshops, food and wine pairing events, catering, and special events, however, as our model is a dynamic one, we intend to grow with changing times.
Our new venue is versatile and  allows for many related activities, including for example the hosting of foreign chefs, special wine tastings events enhanced by a well assorted and equipped wine bar, hosting of private celebration events, art events, media events, and many more, all aiming to create a hub of culinary related activities.
We will invite our audience to become active members of our club and participate not only in our existing events but contribute to our evolution with suggestions, ideas, and advice.  We invite you to follow closely our dynamic and ever evolving web site.    

OUR FOCUS

Our focus is culinary activities manifested at the outset through cooking workshops, food and wine pairing events and catering. Guests will be treated to informative presentations by chef Ghenwa. She will share her in depth knowledge of healthy dietary practices which are combined with but not limited to, her exceptional familiarity with a wide array of Middle Eastern, North African, and Mediterranean dishes. Her talents will also be the focus of the food and wine pairing events as well as all other culinary offerings.

A BIT OF HISTORY

Lebanon is a small country on the Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East in an area that was known to the ancients as the land of Phoenicia.  The land is rich, not only in history, but also in the traditions and arts of food and wine (better known today as the Culinary Arts). Just as the Phoenicians have famously travelled “the world”, the culinary traditions of Lebanon are travelling the world with us today.

THE HEART &
SOUL OF LEBANON

Ghenwa was born in Lebanon. Her hometown of Aley, located in the mountains overlooking Beirut and known as “the bride of summer resorts”, is known for preserving the so much revered old traditions of Lebanon.
Ghenwa is your very eager and willing ambassador of the best that her hometown specifically and Lebanon in general has to offer. Her love and dedication to the art of cooking is overwhelming and her enthusiasm is absolutely contagious. Experience her and you will experience “the heart and soul of Lebanon”.

EARLY LIFE

Her family’s unfortunate exposure to dire conditions due to the civil war during most of her childhood, led her to self-sufficiency at an early stage in her life.  At the age of 18 she successfully applied for work as airline stewardess with the Saudi Arabian Airlines.  
In the 17 years that she spent with them, she progressed quickly to managerial position mostly thanks to her innate talents related to high quality food and service.
Among her many responsibilities, she supervised and trained airline staff working in galleys and providing high quality on board culinary services for the very frequent VIP flights for the royal family.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

While in Saudi Arabia, she met and fell in love with Geza, a Hungarian born American merchant and investment banker and they married in 1994.
Their schedule was loaded with travels throughout the world, including a stay in the USA where, among other experiences, both enjoyed the beautiful wine estates of northern California.  Here Ghenwa became a USA citizen.

THE JOURNEY

South Africa was among the many countries visited by the newlyweds and during their second visit in January 1997 they fell in love with the country and purchased a property in the middle of the Winelands outside Cape Town.
The visits to the new home intensified and the beautiful environment became so enticing that they decided to make this house their future residence and in 2003 the family moved in permanently. Geza took retirement from his financial activities and intensified with gusto his old hobby, collecting and consuming quality wines while Ghenwa got seriously involved with activities in the neighborhood school where their two children were enrolled, activities that included many charity events organized by the parents.
One event lead to another and before long her talents in the kitchen were noticed and solicited and soon thereafter, the cooking workshops  started and were often followed by food and wine pairing events that the couple co-hosted with various talented local winemakers, thus leading to the beginning of “Ghenwa’s Lebanese Cooking Club.” (the predecessor of “Ghenwa’s Culinary Club”)

CHAÎNE DES RÔTISSEURS

Several of her cooking escapades were noticed by some influential Chaine members and in 2014 Ghenwa was selected and inducted as a professional member. Since her induction, Ghenwa has shown her commitment to the “Chaine” by participating as a judge in various Chaine sponsored competitions.  In 2018, Ghenwa hosted her first “Chaine des Rotisseurs” dinner at the beautiful club house of the famous Erinvale Golf Estate. The dinner was attended by close to 100 people and it was a resounding success, so much so that it was soon followed by her first promotion to maître chef.
Today Ghenwa is pursuing with passion and dedication her culinary endeavors through now the rebranded “Ghenwa’s Culinary Club”. Her activities became popular enough to justify formalizing the club as a legal entity and deciding on a physical location outside their residence. The same year an agreement was reached with the neighboring and beautiful Lourensford Wine Estate, an estate that is visibly evolving into an upscale commercial center, housing activities related to the farm. The agreement involved the restoration of an older building on the estate.   After many delays due to unforeseen circumstances, the building is finished  and Ghenwa’s Culinary Club is open for business.  Among many of her goals is her  commitment to create a hub representing the finest that the Chaine des Rotisseurs deserves.

OUR NEW HOME

It has been her dream for some time to have her own place, her own theater.  This dream has finally become reality. The house in the picture below has undergone some serious changes and has become Ghenwa’s dream come true. With ample parking and a beautiful view, this house has been transformed in a home to a club that can accommodate comfortably app. 50 people and is equipped with all amenities including an elegant theater kitchen where the cooking workshops will be entertained, a back up industrial kitchen and a fully equipped wine bar. The spaciousness and friendly yet elegant atmosphere will open doors to special events that will entice the most discerning visitors. The generously spacious lay out offers possibilities for events that comfortably adhere to presently required social distancing requirements and our staff is ready to offer exceptional service while observing all safety regulations related to sanitation and proper distancing.  We invite the readers to observe the evolution of our new home through our pictorials as well as our written updates in the various specific sections as well as the News & Blogs section.

OUR HOST

“LOURENSFORD WINE ESTATE” – There is so much more to this beautiful estate than meets the eye. Once forming the largest part of historic Vergelegen, established by Governor of the Cape, Willem Adriaan van der Steel in 1700, the estate was formerly known as a world class fruit farm, briefly the largest Packham pear farm in the world. But its vastness hid away many gems unknown to everyday visitors. Its potential was spotted by the sharp eyes of its present owner, Dr Christo Wiese, who purchased the farm in 1998 (about the same time that we purchased a home in the neighbouring Erinvale Golf Estate). Since then, Ghenwa’s evolution as an avid chef  grew in parallel with Lourensford Estate’s evolution from an understated fruit farm to a sophisticated wine estate. Our neighbour certainly did not rest on his laurels once he had purchased Lourensford. Today the estate is fast becoming the major attraction for not only Somerset West residents but increasingly to discerning South Africans and the ever-increasing influx of foreign visitors. An impeccable infrastructure built around a great variety of activities are but a small taste of what one can experience at Lourensford; clay pigeon shooting, trout fishing at the well-stocked lakes, artisanal coffee roastery, children’s play grounds, rare automobile exhibition, art gallery, our own Lourensford Market and exceptionally beautiful special events venues. We are indeed very excited to become part of this family with our own Culinary Club and look forward to welcome you and for you to join us on this beautiful journey.

OUR SPONSORS

COVID-19 INFORMATION
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