The executive chef at Zachary's restaurant in Knysna, Geoffrey Murray, has spent years getting to know producers and suppliers along the Garden Route so as to ensure that only the best-quality seasonal produce finds its way into his kitchen and on to the plates of diners.

Did you know?

The restaurant is named after the beloved Labrador of Pezula Group chairperson Keith Stewart.

The 'garden' in Garden Route takes on a special significance at Zachary’s restaurant in Knysna, where executive chef Geoffrey Murray sources the ingredients for his seasonal menus from local producers – and from his own vegetable garden at the Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa, a luxury resort set in 2 500 acres of indigenous landscape.

A supporter of the Slow Food movement, which 'aims to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem', Murray has spent over a decade getting to know farmers and markets and ingredients in the area. He has built up relationships with his suppliers and has his favourite local cheese makers and charcutiers.

The gardens at Conrad Pezula are also a constant source of fresh, organic herbs and vegetables for his kitchen. Surplus from each harvest is pickled or preserved as appropriate to maintain the integrity of his ingredients. These are then used in his menus to keep the flavours authentic, local and wholly original.

As well as aligning his menu to the seasons, Murray pays extraordinary attention to the flavours and textures of the food he prepares, explaining that 'no two mouthfuls should be the same'. He believes his extensive travels around the world mean he has an 'inspired and eclectic, yet honest' approach to food, underpinned by a thorough understanding of the quality of the products he works with.

Diners can experience the plated outcomes of his approach at Zachary’s at the Conrad Pezula, a restaurant he says 'embodies all of my philosophies on food'.

There is a choice between the à la carte menu or a seven-course menu gourmand (tasting menu), which can be paired with a careful selection of local wines chosen to complement each course. Each meal is served in the elegant, intimate confines of the restaurant. 

Note that if you’re not staying at Conrad Pezula, it’s worth arriving before the sun sets so you can enjoy an aperitif, along with the spectacular views from this luxury resort, built on what is arguably one of the most scenic spots in the world.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa
Tel: +27 (0) 44 302 5332
Email: reservations@pezula.com

What will it cost

Expect to pay about R150 per course or R1 000 per person for the menu gourmand with wine pairing. Note that prices are subject to change.

Where to stay

Conrad Pezula offers a number of luxury accommodation options, the most decadent of which is its private castle. Visit the listed website for details.

What to eat

The menu gourmand with wine pairing will give you an overview of the best that Zachary's restaurant has to offer.

What's happening

The annual Knysna Oyster Festival in July is a highlight on the calendar.