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Q. How would you describe your style of cooking? What inspires you as a chef?
A: I tend to cook food that will showcase the main and principal ingredients. I like to use different textures on a plate. I believe that good wholesome food combined with interesting textures allows the taste buds to sync with the mouth feel of food and therefore allows the brain to enjoy the sensations.

People that are like-minded to me on a professional level inspire me. It does not necessarily have to be part of my industry but talking to professional people that care for what they do helps me relook at the way I do things and it inspires me to dig deeper into my profession. Love being around these type of people.

Q: Describe a typical day in your restaurant?
A: My day starts at 6am every morning that I am on duty. I have a routine that allows me to check on any emails that could have a potential impact on my day, check the breakfast buffet, check fridges and mise en place trays, doing daily orders for fresh ingredients.

Morning briefings with management and staff.

Breakfast keeps us busy and I find myself out on the buffet throughout the morning ensuring the food is always well presented. Most of our guests will use our restaurant for their breakfast and this is a great opportunity to meet with guests and set them up with great food to get them going for the day ahead .

The rest of the day is spent checking that lunch runs smoothly and the transition from the morning shift to the afternoon shift is smooth. The afternoon consists of meals being prepared for our busy lounge and then at 18:00 we get set up and ready for what might lay ahead for our dinner service.

This excludes and banqueting business, which in it’s own way places a completely different spin on my daily proceedings.

Q: What have been your proudest moments as a chef?
A: I would have to say that on a selfish level, representing my country as a member of Culinary Team South Africa at the IKA Culinary Olympics 3 times has got to rate right up there. But winning a Gold Medal in 2008 just added a fairytale aspect to something that was already so special.

On a different level, being a chef and creating meals for guests to enjoy daily are proud moments all the time. I love knowing that we have taken a whole lot of different ingredients and put them together to allow people to enjoy. Who could not rate that as a proud moment?

Q: What has been your biggest learning curve?
A: Being “alive” and active in our industry has been a 28 year learning curve.

Two defining moments will always be the time spent at the Mount Nelson in Cape Town under Garth Stroebel. I will always talk about that as my finishing school and it allowed me to learn valuable 5 star values that have been the cornerstone of my career.
<blockquote>Being part of Culinary Team South Africa for 10 years, I was very fortunate to compete all over the world in great culinary competitions and at the same time network with and observe fantastic chefs and culinary trends.
<strong>Chef Trevor Boyd</strong></blockquote>
Q. What are your favourite ingredients? And, 1 ingredient that we will never find in your kitchen?
A: I love the South African flavours of ground coriander, ground cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, etc. My palate is South African and my fondest memories of eating growing up are of my mother’s cooking and as she is South African too we ate superb meals with those kind of flavours. Aromat will never be found anywhere around me.

Q. What is your favourite dish that you enjoy cooking?
A: There are so many so very difficult to choose!!!!!!!!!!!

Favourite dish to cook will be braised oxtail – but I need to add that if I need to choose a favourite dish to cook then allow me to choose my favourite dish to eat. This will have to be a perfectly roasted chicken, nothing can beat the taste and texture of a well roasted chicken.

Q: Six people (dead or alive) who you would like to cook for?
A: Bono of U2, Ian Rush (true football legend and childhood idol), Steve Jobs, Penelope Cruz (don’t tell my wife), Neil Armstrong (So I can get the truth about which film studio they filmed “that landing on the moon”), last but by far not least one more meal for my late father Brian.

Q. What trends / challenges are restaurants facing?
Trends: Smaller more concise menus
Challenges: Rising cost of food and less money available for people to frequent cool places to eat

Q. The #1 thing that annoys you in restaurants?
A: Poor service, if a waiter shows no interest in offering and serving great food and drinks then I will do exactly the same to him or her

Q. Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
A: I consider myself blessed to be able to create new meals all the time. The food industry is a tough place to ply your trade. It has offered me many lows but the highs that I have encountered far out weigh the lows. Cooking is a fundamental art form and to be part of this industry is a dream come true. Enjoy life and more importantly take time to taste and savour your food. Love eating and love the ones close to you around fantastic tables of food.


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