Last year towards the end of the year I was approached by Adriaan Maree, an incredible chef and just an all round awesome person to help out with branding for his new restaurant. Little did I know that this would be an interesting little journey. Not only did I get to ‘design’ a logo for him I got to see how Fermier took shape. Fermier Restaurant is a new fine dining restaurant in Pretoria created by Chef Adriaan Maree. It is different in so many ways.
When I was told he was building the restaurant himself, I thought, really… And yes, he did, with the help of some awesome people, but he was there every step of the way from the day they drew lines in the sand to indicate where the restaurant will be. We had most of our meetings at the premises itself, Adriaan was usually covered with dust from sanding floors and building basins. This is what makes this restaurant so special, it is a passion project. So much thought was put into constructing a building in an unobtrusive manner, the same goes for what they filled the restaurant with. The chairs and tables were built by Dawie craftsmen on the Karoo Square. All the crockery was crafted by Elza and designed by Adriaan and Elza to keep the crockery within the realms of Adriaan’s earth and organic vision for Fermier.
“Fermier, is an attempt to create a restaurant which in future can become completely self-sustainable by creating an entire “ecosystem” from the fish and vegetables to the livestock, that suits our idea of responsible, conscientious farming (and restaurant) where even “waste” is turned into a functional part of the cycle.”
The design process proved to be an enjoyable one, not only did it include various site visits, numerous cups of coffee and squeals of excitement, but it also seeded an immense feeling of pride and love in me for the restaurant as well as chefs that go on this journey. Adriaan was the best client, his efficiency and leadership a practice he obviously adheres to in the kitchen spilled over to the design process and it was such a pleasure working with a client who knew exactly what they wanted. Because of his clear direction we nailed the logo on round two. The first round of logos consisted of a whole bunch of very designed logos, after which we decided to stuff it let’s go with what the restaurant is and represents. We opted to rather go for a handprinted logo. Something effortless, honest and organic, just like the restaurant. Even though the quality of the service and the food strives to be impeccable, this space is created to instill comfort. Adriaan was clear that stuffy and “perfect” was not an option. We allowed this to spill over to the photographs on the website as well, it needed to be atmospheric and natural.
Fermier Restaurant officially opened on January the 14th. We were lucky enough to have enjoyed the seven-course menu currently being prepared by Adriaan and his sous chef Ockert Brits. I’m no expert in fine dining neither am I a food critic (not by a long haul), but I would recommend Fermier to anyone who has a great love and respect for food. I loved how free the space was and how I didn’t once feel uncomfortable with the atmosphere or the ambiance. Granted, I about as passionate about Fermier as if it was my own restaurant! Helping to fold napkins, set tables and breaking the very first glass in the restaurant gives you that feeling! All I can say is that I’m so thankful for being a part of such an incredible start.