The Greenhouse Restaurant at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Constantia was the venue yesterday for a lunch where group executive chef Peter Tempelhoff presented a range of dishes from his menus to a gathering of prominent foodwriters.
Liz McGrath, owner of The Collection by Liz McGrath, hosted the lunch with her granddaughter Marina Smithers, who is responsible for the group’s PR, and CEO Tony Romer-Lee on a day that showed off the hotel’s famous gardens in early spring sunshine.
Tempelhoff was on hand to explain the dishes which showcased seafood and his commitment to the use of sustainable products in the kitchens at the Cellars-Hohenort, The Marine and The Plettenberg.
Tempelhoff spent a couple of weeks in the United States in July leading a South African food promotion that focused on sustainable seafood. He worked with chefs from some of New York’s cutting-edge restaurants including Le Bernardin, Daniel Boulud, Imperial No 9 and 11 Madison Park.
Not only did he bring back some new ideas, but the experience sharpened the slight North American accent he inherited from his mother.
Tempelhoff’s food will feature prominently in a Relais & Chateaux cookbook that is due to be published in November.
The book will focus on the food and restaurants of the 26 R&C properties in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. The foreward is being prepared by Raymond Blanc. Anthony Hamilton Russell will contribute on the wines which are so important to the food offerings in the restaurants.
Tempelhoff is also finalising plans for cooking classes at all three hotels which will be offered in October and November.
And if there is any further need for confirmation that McGrath, Romer-Lee and Tempelhoff have their eyes fixed firmly on an improved summer season, the Cellars-Hohenort is recruiting new staff at a time when others in the hotel industry are still struggling to come to terms with a recession that has seen some hotels, notably the Grace and Monarch in Johannesburg and The Alphen in Cape Town, close.
Romer-Lee, who despite his youthful looks is one of South Africa’s most experienced hoteliers, is looking for an assistant F&B manager and has an opportunity on the front desk.