CRUSH CHATS TO Peter Templehoff
We catch up with Executive chef Peter Templehoff
Mondiall – did you just have too much free time on your hands with only the role of Executive Chef for The Collection by Liz McGrath?
It’s not about having free time to throw at a project, as there isn’t any of that. It’s about seizing an opportunity and making the time for it.
In what way would you like Mondiall to add to your already illustrious career?
Mondiall’s menu is an expression of my love for classically simple dishes.
What challenges have you experienced setting up a new team in the kitchen under Head Chef Oliver Cattermole?
The kitchen has to prepare for a full restaurant every day, as the area is so unpredictable. The biggest challenge so far has been training the team to get the food out fast, and still to keep the quality I want. Admittedly, we haven’t always succeeded… but we are getting there.
Has starting your own restaurant been a goal of yours for sometime?
Yeah, of course – all chefs dream about opening a place of their own – I just never realized my first one would be quite as big. I guess there is no better way to learn how to swim than getting pushed into the deep end.
Your partner in this venture is Patrick Symington of Cape Town’s Café Dharma and Asoka fame. Has he inspired you to do anything differently?
Of course, Paddy is a dynamic character and a great operator; he meticulously gets every job done with boundless energy and enthusiasm. The selfless and warm way in which he interacts with people is very unique… anyone who is not inspired by Paddy is beyond help.
What sort of commitment does it take from you to be a Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef?
The obligations of a Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef are quality, consistency and creativity.
Will your new commitments to Mondiall affect this status?
Not at all!
Apart from starting your own restaurant – what is exciting you in the kitchen at the moment?
The move towards small simple plates of food – tapas style – is pretty cool. I also love the way things are moving away from the molecular.
What is your proudest achievement in your career so far?
I have had many proud moments along the way, but my highlight would be cooking dinner for all my mentors at The Cellars – more than seventy Michelin stars were in the room. After dinner, the team and I received a standing ovation which lasted about a minute. I was awarded the Grand Chef accolade as a result of this dinner.