About us

To profitably popularize the taste of the fauna and flora of the Karoo

About the company


Founded in 2009, Taste of the Karoo is about finding the very best culinary produce in the vast area known as the Karoo and making it available to private clients to enjoy at home, as well as restaurants and delicatessens. The focus is currently on the greater Johannesburg and Cape Town regions.

All the animals we use (venison, lambs, chickens, ostriches, beef, pork) are veld raised and all farmers are personally selected.  The ingredients used in our ever expanding range of flora products/condiments are locally grown and brought to fruition by local artisans, who we personally seek out in their own unique way. Taste of the Karoo seeks to provide you with quality of the highest standards, a taste that is authentically Karoo and an overall eating experience that is as delicious as it is healthy. To the extent to which the company is successful it will add sustainability to many small rural businesses as well as help create meaningful employment.

From the authentic, richly layered sediments of the Karoo, comes the authentic, richly flavored Taste of the Karoo.

About us


Taste of the Karoo was founded in 2009 by Derek Carstens and his son Tyghe. From the age of 6 until he went to university, Derek spent every July holiday on the farm Excelsior in the Richmond area. The experiences he enjoyed left a marked impression on his life and in 1990 he helped found the Agter Sneeuberg Game Reserve, between Cradock and Graaff-Reinet, which today is some 26000ha in size and home to around 9000 head of game. In 2009 he purchased the farm Bankfontein which adjoins the Reserve and is now the home base of Taste of the Karoo.

On the farm he assisted by a wonderful team comprising of: Alfie Borens (foreman/JHB driver), his wife Binedine (production manager) and their one daughter Lilian (stock controller), Lilian Borens ( stock controller), Klasie Gorens (diver), Hendrik Scheepers (water-leier/driver/meat processor) and we also have the vastly experienced Chris Coetzee on hand as our blockman.

Gordon Wright is our partner in the business with his focus being on the culinary side of the business and new product development. Given his chef credentials and his best selling “Veld to Fork” cook book, Gordon adds invaluable expertise.

Emma Blyth is the overall administrator of the business as well as the Regional Representative in Gauteng. Emma and her family live in Johannesburg.

We are in turn supported by a wonderful collection of farmers and local foodies without whom none of this would have been possible and together we seek to enrich the circle of life for all.