From the moment one steps into Susan Greig’s cooking studio in Johannesburg one feels the presence and power of nature. Transformed from a storeroom into a kitchen to host her monthly cooking classes, the space is a light-filled enclave that can accommodate up to 30 students. The large terrace doors open out onto a vast, green potager conceived by Susan’s husband Christopher (of Charles Greig Jewellers), who shares her passion for all things green.
This conveniently positioned patchwork of vegetation boasts endless bundles of spinach, lettuce and other greens from which she picks whilst teaching. ‘It’s so nice when I’m cooking that I can ask someone to go and get some parsley or some sage’, she says. Due to the temperate climate of Johannesburg, the terrace doors are open all year round, which allows for an uninterrupted flow between the outdoor and indoor spaces.
The charcoal walls are accented with green objects coupled with rustic furniture. ‘All the furniture is very old and has been remodelled: something that was once a workman’s bench was changed into a functional piece for the kitchen,’ Susan explains. There are copper jam pots stacked on shelves and green bottles are lined up neatly on the floor. With an abundance of cooking books hiding up in the rafters, this space feels more like a cosy living room than a kitchen. There’s a beautiful antique green tureen and shelves dedicated to cabbage wear, ‘which I found in a cupboard in one of the rooms of the house,’ Susan says. An imposing bronze stag oxidized to a pastel green sits majestically on the mantelpiece, an artwork commissioned by her husband. Surrounded by all this verdant goodness, in Susan’s studio the grass doesn’t get much greener.