Be the best you can be, and it will be enough
Spier is home to a diverse bunch of passionate people, doing what they love, and committed to making a difference every day. Lolli Heyns, Spier’s Executive Chef – also known as the Diva of Delicious – has worked at Spier for over seven years following stints at the likes of Buitenverwachting, the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel and Singita. Her food philosophy involves keeping dishes as simple, seasonal, as natural as possible – letting the high quality ingredients she cooks with to speak for themselves.
Who inspires you? Alice Waters, chef, author and proprietor of Chez Panisse. She is an incredible pioneer of a culinary philosophy that maintains that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally. She is a passionate advocate for a food economy that is “good, clean and fair.” I was lucky enough to spend some time in her kitchen and it has really changed my approach to food.
I’m also inspired by Farmer Angus McIntosh who is a remarkable custodian of a sustainable future – I am so inspired by his dedication and determination. His incredible passion, along with his strong beliefs, are what drives me daily.
What do you love most about your job? The incredible, talented and passionate people I get to spend my time with, they inspire me and push me to better every day.
What do you love most about Spier? The incredible commitment to sustainability, the farm’s breath-taking beauty, the people I get to share my days with, and the amazing produce I work with daily.
What makes Spier different? Although rooted in its heritage, Spier is also constantly innovating and changing – this makes it an exciting space and allows for creativity to flourish. There’s never a dull moment here!
What is your greatest strength? I’d like to think that I inspire others with my creativity and positive demeanour. I also like to empower people to grow and learn and share their knowledge with others.
How do you make a positive difference to the environment? I do my best to live out Spier’s sustainable ethos as much as possible. I do this by conserving water, reducing energy use, recycling waste and using local produce that was grown ethically and sustainably.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever received? Be the best you can be and it will be enough.
What do you get up to when you’re not at work? I don’t really have much time for myself, but when I do I enjoy spending time outdoors or painting.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would that be?
Ignorance. I wish everyone could just be kind to one another allowing equal rights and opportunities for all. Overcoming poverty and empowering our children to be a more sustainable generation.
What’s your favourite season? Autumn. I just always feel very inspired then – it’s all the beautiful colours around me; there’s something very romantic about it.
What’s the key to being happy in life? Accept yourself for you are and be the best version of that; be kind, love, share, always inspire and be inspired.