Chef Ash Heeger Announces her Move to the UK and the Closure of Riverine Rabbit

Words: Crush

It’s a sad day for the Cape Town culinary scene as Chef Ash Heeger announces the closure of Riverine Rabbit. Chef Ash has announced her decision to move back to the United Kingdom and start a new journey in the hope of achieving a work/life balance with her partner, Erin. In a heartfelt statement, Ash sheds light on her reason for leaving Cape Town and the impending closure.

Riverine Rabbit

A Message from Chef Ash Heeger on the Closure of Riverine Rabbit

“For those of you who do not know me personally, I wear my heart on my sleeve and this statement is no different. I’ve prioritized my career above all else my entire life. It’s served me well so far and I’ve excelled in this industry as a result, shaping me into the person I am today. I’ve spent the last four years as a restaurant owner and it’s been the single most rewarding experience of my life. I’ve learnt what it takes to be a leader, an employer and a mentor to those around me.

Most importantly, I’ve loved every second with my team who have become my family. However, the ambitious pursuit of my career goals has been the detriment of many of my personal relationships. For the first time, I’ve found something that is more important to me than my career, or my business. And that is my own happiness. I’ve made the decision to close Riverine Rabbit towards the end of the season and move back to the United Kingdom to be with my partner, Erin. Making our relationship my priority.

This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, one that I’ve not made lightly. I do not wish to keep The Rabbit open without my presence in Cape Town, it just wouldn’t feel right. The restaurant is so much a part of me, I can’t imagine not being a part of its everyday life.

ash restaurant

I love my business, Cape Town and my country, but I firmly believe this is the right call for me, for now. Having my sister Mandy on board for the last two years has been absolutely fantastic and I’m so grateful for her support throughout our time together and with this decision. This is definitely not goodbye; this is just the next step in my journey.”

We cannot wait to see what this personal journey holds for Ash. The United Kingdom has a talented and passionate chef entering their culinary scene. That being said, we know the Cape Town food scene will be waiting in anticipation for her return.

The Closure of Riverine Rabbit

Riverine Rabbit, owned by sister team Ash Heeger & Mandy van der Berg, opened its doors in October 2018, showcasing the best local ingredients and wine South Africa has to offer. Shining a light on sustainability and the ever-increasing need for restaurants and patrons alike to become more aware of the provenance of their food. The small family-owned restaurant has a different take on fine dining, focusing on the food and service and not the “fills” that tend to follow. Set in a welcoming environment off bustling Bree Street, diners could expect a relaxed yet conscious fine dining experience.

“I hope you will join me for what should be a celebration of an amazing restaurant with our incredible team fully operational until we close our doors. This is the time for soaking up our last days together at The Rabbit and doing what we love, cooking great food and providing amazing service for our guests.”

Riverine Rabbit

While we’re sad to see Ash leaving SA, we have no doubt we’ll be hearing her name pop up elsewhere soon enough.

The closure date will be announced in the coming weeks. | Facebook | Instagram

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