After completing my studies Hotel School, I started working as an assistant catering manager at Fedics Food Services, at a private hospital catering for 500 patients with specialised dietary requirements from January 1990 to February 1991. I then became co-owner and head chef of Burgundy’s Restaurant, a 120-seat Brasserie-style restaurant catering to office workers until March 1992. Between 1992 and 1997, I filled senior, head and executive chef positions in upmarket establishments opening, Ellerman House, Montage Restaurant and Victoria Junction Hotel.
I was fortunate to do my training in a 2 star Michelin restaurant run by Raymond Blanc in Oxfordshire, I have opened numerous hotels and restaurants and have been in a position to learn from concept to opening which has given me expertise that has become invaluable.
I went on to open some luxury properties such as the Melrose arch hotel and the Villa via hotel on the cape waterfront which is know the famous Radisson hotel.
Working between consulting and owning my own businesses I have been able to understand what is required to create manage and maintain a business as well as understand the stress and pressure of ownership and the financial implications of dealing with profit and loss.
I have worked extensively in Africa and have opened Hotels as far away as Nigeria and a number of properties in Southern Africa. Some of these ventures have been incredibly diverse and have allowed me to gain experience across the hospitality sector.
I have opened several of my own award winning restaurants including Ginja, Shoga and Myoga, these restaurants are testament to my passion and commitment to the industry and many accolades and awards have followed from these ventures.
Traveling around the world and keeping up constantly with trends has allowed me to understand the contemporary market and keep up with local and international trends and stay at the forefront of my industry.
With years of experience and a hands on approach I am able to understand hospitality dynamics and provide feasible solutions to clients in the business.
At an early age, I took a keen interest in cooking and after my high school education finished I enrolled myself into a local cooking school, I did the course that involved learning to cook and understanding the wine industry. at the end of my course my journey began and with forays into some of South Africa’s top establishments, I was willing to give what I call my learning career five years, during this time I worked at the Cape Grace hotel in Cape Town, the village at Spier wine farm and the Arabella west cape hotel and spa.
At the age of 25 I took on my first head chef job in a 250-seater restaurant and had the task of turning the restaurant around, I loved the challenge, during that time I took time off from the establishment to go and work in Germany under one and two Michelin star restaurants and gained some much-needed inspiration.
Following this challenge I set up Vanilla restaurant in Cape Town and worked from the initial layout and design into fruition of restaurant set in the upmarket Cape Quarter of Cape Town. My job included menu development, costing, maintaining the restaurant environment, staffing and ongoing training. It was a very rewarding job and the results spoke for themselves, this is where I learn't that my greatest asset was in the way I approach a job which is to look at it from the eyes of the owner and manage it as if it were my own bread and butter. This is an ethos I have tried to instill in all my staff.
After this challenge was completed I was offered a position in Kazulu Natal where the owners wanted to enhance the restaurant and property into the fine dining arena, in the two years I was the executive chef I managed to take the establishment from being relatively unknown to the number two hospitality property in the province.
Mike Bassett from Myoga then offered me the position of head chef at his fine dining restaurant Myoga in Cape Town, this was the second chance I had worked for Mike, the first being at his internationally acclaimed restaurant Ginja where I worked as a sous chef.
Mike and I took on some consulting work helping local restaurants revamp their menus and we worked on a franchise project to develop a similar chain to Kentucky fried chicken which we developed from scratch to a franchisee concept.
I took on other consulting work and for franchises such as Hudson’s burger bar and Butlers pizza I was also flown to KZN again to set up a Asian inspired restaurant called Namji house and did the training and setup there.
Prior to my current position I helped re-engineer a game lodge in Madikwe in the North West Province of South Africa called Etali which is a 5 star boutique lodge sleeping 50 guests, I had to work out the logistics in the middle of nowhere, challenging to say the least.
I am now the Executive chef for 3 top restaurants in Cape town which are all very different and pose unique challenges which need to be managed meticulously.