It was my Grandmother who got me into cooking from a young age, but motocross was a big part of my life. I raced professionally for more than 12 years, both in South Africa and Europe. I then continued to do a degree in psychology, before following my passion for cooking.
I did my first year at Olive Chef School and quickly started getting eyes on me and did my apprenticeship at La Colombe, which got 36th best restaurant in the world. I then proceeded to climb the ladder from apprentice Chef to Chef de partie in under two years.
I then met a two Michelin-star Chef and we worked together for a year at pop-up restaurant and then proceeded to open up a theatrical fine dining restaurant in the heart of Cape Town, where we showcased our 22-course dining menu.
I decided it was best for me to move on and was Sous Chef at a small restaurant and later became Head Chef and opened up a second restaurant. It wasn’t until the end of 2021 that I realised opportunities for Chefs in South Africa were becoming less and less and decided to take on the world, Australia being at the top of my list.
I am so grateful for my job here in Australia as Head Chef at Glenbosch Wine Estate.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
Yes, I have always wanted to be Chef, but I wanted to travel the world before settling in the industry; which I did and I loved it and I am grateful I did.
How would you define your style?
I would say my style of cooking is a mix of South African, Asian and Mexican flavours with the use of traditional French cooking techniques and new modern world techniques, like molecular gastronomy and fermentation.
What is your feature flavour these days?
At the moment for me it is duck, beetroot and apple.
I am obesssed with perfection when it comes to slicing or dicing vegetables, everything needs to be a perfect cube.
Your greatest culinary influence:
I would say Jamie Olivier, he cooks from the heart and he was one of my biggest influences as a child watching him on TV and having him make it look so easy to create tasty food.
What do you love about this business?
I love the adrenalin when service starts, the energy is a drug.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
I would say lemongrass, garlic and ginger.
Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?
It would be my take on surf and turf, which is 8 hours conceited pork belly, served with flash fried Tiger prawns, homemade pork crackling, char sui, hoisin dressing, corn purée and bok choi.
My signature dish is a take on a classic street food, fish and chips - potato done three ways, vinegar gel, tiger’s milk and barramundi
What do you think COVID has taught restaurants and Chefs about their diners and the industry in general?
It taught me you have be creative in the way you can serve your food, for instance I had to start serving a 7-course meal in a takeaway box and make it fun for the customer. Another lesson I learnt was never take the small guy for granted, the heart of the kitchen are the guys and girls who do all the small jobs, which make my job easier.
Tell us something no one knows about you?
I do not like liquorice and egg yolk.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I see myself having 2-3 of my own restaurants with multiple different dining experiences and food styles - hopefully still in Australia.