Meet our new Exec Chef

February 27, 2020

“Life is too short for bad food and bad coffee. Always put a bit of love in your food and I promise you might just change everything a small bit at a time” 

~ Chef W. Van Dyk

Food has always played a big part in my family from butcheries to large catering companies and from a young age, having a braai was always much more than just having a meal. It was the time we as a family had to bond and enjoy life.  I strongly believe that” life is too short for bad food and bad coffee”. That said life for me is about the small things so giving guests that experience that I had as a child around a table is what it’s all about. People need to be able to taste the love in your food if there is no love there will be no reminder of childhood memories of people coming together, and then food becomes just another meal .

Over my career I have spent my time in some of the top 50 fine dining restaurants in the country and a couple others and I was very fortunate to work under some truly amazing Chefs. I spent some years abroad in the U.S. working in the 1 rated country club St. Andrews working under Chef Steven Viggiano whom is a master in his own way of putting love into food. This opened my eyes and afforded me a whole new way of thinking about food and how to bring people together around a table.

I returned back to South Africa on a mission to help people experience what it is to share a meal with friends, family, loved ones and even strangers. I joined some major corporate companies in running all of their catering need from gala dinners, bakeries, restaurants and coffee shops. That whole experience taught me so much but the one thing that stood out was the diversity of South Africans from presidential parties to the everyday Joe that might have nothing in common but if you put them all in a room together with amazing food made with love – everyone has something in common.   

I am a truly PROUD South African.  I truly believe in supporting small local businesses that make a difference in our communities. I also believe that nature plays the biggest part of all in putting love into food and that it is our responsibility to learn from our environment for the next generations to come. Every small step we make will make a big difference in the end.

So my new adventure starts at Gondwana Game Reserve where making a difference is a part of everyday life show casing the best of South Africa. I am looking forward to putting every bit of Gondwana into the food and turning it into a hart warming experience that guests can take home with them no matter where they are from.