Chef Chris Smit leads a charmed existence! After spending many years in the commercial kitchens of some of the most acclaimed hotels and restaurants in the world, this award-winning culinary maestro swopped the frenzied lifestyle and career of an executive chef for the unhurried life of a carefree country cook – blissfully ensconced in the heart of South Africa’s food and wine capital, the magnificent Franschhoek valley!

When he’s not catering intimate events and gatherings or wowing diners at his unique pop-up restaurant at the local village market every Saturday morning – Chris and his beloved four-legged companion, Sophia, embark on mini-adventures to visit local wineries, farms and food markets to sample what’s on offer. They even find the time for the occasional horse-back ride through the vineyards, a wine-tram tour or a dip in the dam on Chris’s estate.

But it’s in his aroma-filled home kitchen that Chris loves to spend most of his time – cooking, baking, experimenting with new recipe ideas and trying out food & wine pairings – all while enjoying an unhindered view of the picturesque mountains and vineyards just beyond his window.

His food-philosophy is a refreshingly unpretentious one for a former professional chef: fresh, honest food prepared simply – and with love!

And it is this unfussy, yet informative and celebratory approach to cooking, baking, life and lifestyle that Chris will be imparting to the viewers of “Cooking with Chris Smit”, Saturdays at 4pm on SABC3.