LEANDRI VAN DER WAT
MasterChef SA Runner Up & Coffee Entrepreneur
The Coffee Mag / Summer 2014
Melanie Winter - We’re sitting at the crowded bar counter of Unity. It’s the Currie Cup final, Stormers versus Sharks. We are in the middle of a classic Durban thunderstorm that keeps interrupting the satellite feed. In a room full of people wearing black and white, the mood is tense to say the least.
Demetri Catrakilis breaks away to score a Stormer’s try and Leandri van der Wat goes crazy in the corner. Completely unashamedly this girl from Mafikeng living in Pretoria is shouting for the Western Province team in enemy territory. We can safely say that this is one person not afraid to stand by her convictions.
Her time in Durban, centred around the beautiful cover shot by Xavier Vahed that graces this magazine, was chock full of eThekweni goodness. Straight out the blocks we headed to the beach to dig our toes into the sand and drink margaritas. Next to drink locally brewed beer on tap at Lovecoffee. Shortstraw and The Plastics provided a night of dancing at LIVE-The Venue and after completely forgetting to eat all night (oh the irony!) we ended up at Sunrise Chip and Ranch (fondly known by it’s original name, Johnny’s Rotis) for a classic chip, cheese and mutton gravy roti. Only to discover when we got home that there was no gravy!
Leandri, as it turns out, has a natural talent for surfing. I was more than a little jealous that she stood up on her first time out! I think it’s safe to say that the surfing bug has bitten and we can expect her back soon. If not just to try out the Sunrise Chip n Cheese with the addition of the all-important Mutton Gravy! Vrushik’s Vegetarian Café was our lunch spot, Minesh made us up some delicious rotis filled with all kinds of goodness including his amazing paneer. A dinner at the perennial favourite Café 1999 where we indulged in their fine fare to our heart’s content after that tense game of rugga (Go Sharks!).
The shoot itself was an awesome day of getting full of soil and eating incredible food. And of course along the way we visited The Factory Café, Bean Green Coffee Roastery and Stretta Café to see Craig Charity at Lineage. Leandri’s entire bag was packed full of coffee by the time she headed back to King Shaka in the torrential downpour (which we are certain she brought with her from the Highveld.).