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November 25, 2011

Cape Town’s Peter Tempelhoff named Grand Chef

Peter Tempelhoff, executive chef at The Collection by Liz McGrath, has been named Grand Chef by the Relais & Châteaux Congress. Photo courtesy of The Collection by Liz McGrath

There are few things as appealing to the eye or as appetising on the palate as a man who not only cooks well but looks good while doing so...

One such gastronomically talented man is Peter Tempelhoff, executive chef for The Collection by Liz McGrath, a group of five-star hotels in the Western Cape. He was  recently awarded the Grand Chef title  at the annual Relais & Châteaux Congress in Lisbon, Portugal.

This title is awarded to chefs who set an international culinary benchmark and reflect their individual cultures with their creativity.

I had the privilege of feasting on Peter’s culinary creations at The Greenhouse restaurant, the flagship restaurant of The Collection, in Constantia on 23 November 2011 and what a treat it was! From the tasty pan-fried duck foie gras to the tender roasted quail and the decadent inverted brûlée, the journey for the taste buds was unbelievable.

Peter now joins the ranks of chef extraordinaires Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons near Oxfordshire in the UK and Hélène Darroze of the Restaurant Hélène Darroze in Paris. I chatted to him about his phenomenal accomplishment.

What does winning this title mean to you?

I have been asked that a number of times since the awards and the answer is always the same… it is absolutely fantastic, but it comes with a price… the price of expectation and duty. We are, however, definitely looking forward to the challenge, as it is what we have been working towards over the past two years.

Sustainability and responsible cooking is important to you – how do you achieve this?

Realising the importance of our delicate planet and all its inhabitants, The Greenhouse is continually striving to achieve a balance between sustainability and culinary uniqueness through ecological awareness and sustainable product development. It's a mission which has seen the development of a many unique and amazing dishes using "less glamorous" fish and seafood.

What is your best kept Capetonian secret?

We use artesian spring water drawn from the foot of Table Mountain to make all our stock, sauces, jellies etc. I just can’t tell you where they are!

How does Cape Town inspire you?

The natural surroundings of the city inspire us to tap into what it has to offer, whether it is the bountiful seas around it, or the fertile forests within it. Cape Town has a lot to offer chefs who are looking for inspiration.

Finally, any advice for aspirant chefs?

Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and work hard at your career. It is not an easy job, but the rewards make it worth it in the end. 

Peter\'s creativity and how he reflects his culture in his cooking secured the Grand Chef nomination for him. Photo courtesy of The Collection by Liz McGrath

The Greenhouse Restaurant is the flagship restaurant of The Collection and Peter\'s talents are well known here. Photo courtesy of The Collection by Liz McGrath

These goat cheese lollipops fashioned as flowers in a glass box are a prime example of Peter\'s creativity. Photo courtesy of The Collection by Liz McGrath

Peter Tempelhoff, Cape Town\'s new Grand Chef, and his team. Photo courtesy of The Collection by Liz McGrath

For more information about Grand Chef Peter Tempelhoff and The Collection by Liz McGrath, please visit www.cellars-hohenort.com.


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