Cheesecake with a View
Cyclists setting off for the single track of the new Supa 20km Trial in the Karkloof often need a shot of caffeine to get them going.
Fortunately, Steve Doughty is able to provide a really good Americano that does the trick and, when the exhilarated bunch arrives back at the Karkloof Country Club famished, there are classic bacon and egg rolls, retro chip sarmies and cappuccino to replenish energy.
Savvy cyclists time their ride to coincide with Cheesecake Fridays when Steve conjures up delectable options like lemon curd and vanilla; raspberry and white chocolate; strawberry with balsamic or dark chocolate with pears. Actually, non-cyclists also trundle out to the Karkloof Country Club to savour the flavours and take in the splendid views of Loskop and Gilboa from the verandah.
Steve learnt to cook in the kitchen with his mother. “I have been baking since I was five,” he says, “Cheese cake has become a particular passion. I am inspired by fresh ingredients I find and love to create new combinations.” Each week there is something new to surprise your taste buds.
After years of living in London (including a stint with BBC Good Food Magazine, where he worked with James Martin in the test kitchen), Steve decided to settle in KZN somewhere. He visited is folks in the Ambers and after just two days decided the Midlands was the spot. “I’d only driven through the area before, so this lifestyle was a revelation to me. The fact that the bike trails the Karkloof Mountain Bike Club have set up in the SAPPI plantations are the best in South Africa, cemented the decision.” Steve loves nothing more than early mornings on his bike or heading out as the sun dips behind the hills in the late afternoons. “This is not really work. I have so much fun, hanging out with cyclists, meeting interesting people and as long as I can ride my bike I am happy.” It’s a winning combination and a lovely place to while away a couple of hours as raptors swirl overhead and the call of Crowned Cranes echoes along the valley.
Steve’s Bistro Café is open Wednesday to Sunday. Pop in or give him a ring 078 680 9314.