Where do local chefs go on holiday?

Posted on 13 May 2020

Have you ever wondered where our local chefs like to go on holiday? Find out where three of South African foodies like to travel.

1. Antoinette Meyer of Barringtons, Plettenberg Bay

Image supplied

I make a point of travelling abroad every two years to food capitals. There’s nothing better than not knowing what you’re eating, among people whose language you don’t understand.

I go back to Istanbul often. What a city! I can’t even begin to explain how diverse and exciting it is. From shopping to food, architecture to history. The spice and fish markets. The Turkish-delight shops that look like a pastry.

My favourite place abroad is Paris. The food, people, energy, history – and it truly is the most romantic destination in the world.

The best meal I’ve had on holiday was on Turtle Island, off San Sebastian in Spain, in a dirty, hot and humid little restaurant (although it was tiled beautifully in white and blue from roof to floor). I ordered octopus. It was soft, rose-pink and juicy, served in a potato and onion broth. For the life of me I could not understand what the chef said when I asked how he cooked it. To this day I’m still trying to figure it out.

Read on for more about Antoinette’s favourite places…

Barringtons – a craft brewery with a tap room and a restaurant – recently opened in the Piesang Valley near Plett. barringtonsplett.co.za

Antalya in Turkey. Image: Getty Images/Gallo Images.


2. Sizo Henna of Blaque Continental Bistro, Bryanston

sizo henna, blaque continental bistro, bryanston

Image supplied

On holiday I love to just switch off and relax. I don’t have a specific place that I return to but I do love the Eastern Cape, my home province. I adore Kidd’s Beach and Port Alfred. My parents had to save up for us to go on holiday, and sometimes we would go three times a year, which definitely influenced my love of food and exploring different places.

My most memorable holiday was in India, in Mumbai’s bustling suburb of Bandra. The food, from the sweetcorn on the street to the dried fish, was incredible. A big portion of the population is vegetarian so naturally the veggie dishes are excellent.

London, where I trained to become a chef, has to be my favourite overseas destination. I worked in the centre of the city and found the pub culture amazing. We just don’t have that tradition in South Africa, where an establishment can survive for a hundred years.

Read on for more about Sizo’s favourite food memories…

Blaque Continental Bistro opened in a flurry of flavour and jazz at the end of 2019. Expect delicious, simple food, prepared well, with expertly paired wine. 076-989-4688

Image: Getty Images/Gallo Images



3. David Tilly of the Taj, Cape Town

Image supplied

My love of travel came from my grandfather, who was a sailor on the largest French cruise ship at that time. He would always tell us stories about his trips around the world. Also, my uncle was a chef who worked on the French Caribbean islands, so as a child I knew there was plenty of opportunity to travel as a chef.

For holidays I prefer seaside first, then bush, and cities last, but some trips have been very food-oriented, such as Thailand. Then I’ll eat four or five times a day because I want to try everything!

My most memorable holiday was the trip to Japan, because it was just me and my wife – no kids – for 15 days, so we were free to do what we wanted.

The best meal I’ve had on holiday? It’s too difficult to choose one! Skewers and pad thai in the streets of Bangkok; sushi and sashimi at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo; ramen and gyoza (dumplings) in Fukuoka; kebabs and butter chicken in Old Delhi; couscous and tagines in Marrakech.

Read on about David’s favourite places…

David heads up three eateries at this five-star hotel in the heart of the CBD. The Bombay Brasserie, Bombay Brasserie Bar and Mint Restaurant & Terrace. 021-819-2000

David ‘really enjoyed the different culture’ of Japan – this is one of the foodie alleys near Shibuya Station in Tokyo. Image: Getty Images/Gallo Images.

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