South Africa’s Chantel Dartnall – currently the reigning Best Female Chef in the World – has been joined at the award-winning Restaurant Mosaic by one of the country’s most exciting female sommeliers, 28-year-old Taryn Nortje.
Says Nortje: “It is any sommelier’s dream come true to work in a restaurant which boasts the finest cellar in Africa, with more than 75 000 bottles of wine under 5 500 different local and international labels. Mosaic is renowned across the world for its meticulous food and wine pairings and I am thrilled to be working with Chantel and her team who I admire for their passion and the precision that goes into the very smallest detail.”
Dartnall has always celebrated gastronomic girl power at the restaurant with a strong female brigade in the kitchen and her mother Mari Dartnall in charge of the restaurant’s front-of-house.
Says Dartnall: “I enjoy seeing the difference in the style of cooking and presentation between male and female chefs, but for me there is no gender, cultural or racial boundaries when it comes to talent. I am delighted that more women are making their mark in the food and wine industry and I just know that Taryn is going to become a key asset to the Mosaic team. She has a fantastic palate and is going to be a force to be reckoned with on the South African wine stage.”
Nortje – who was previously at Marble – will work with Mosaic’s Moses Magwaza who won the coveted Wine Service Award at the 2017 Eat Out Awards last year.
Mosaic’s cellarmaster and sommeliers have already planned three exciting wine tastings for the first two months of 2018.
On Wednesday, January 31, France’s Domaine Fourrier’s winemaker, Jean-Marie Fourrier will be presenting a special selection of his wines. Antoine Gouges from Domaine Henri Gouges will be the guest on Wednesday, February 7. Mosaic will also host Pablo Alvarez from Spain’s most famous winery Vega Sicilia on Wednesday, February 21.
Dartnall’s current summer menu is named CosmOrganic and again features her signature botanical cuisine style, using only the best seasonal produce and taking a cue from nature with dishes such as Song of the Sea (salmon, kombucha, yuzu); Some Birds Don’t Fly (ostrich, beetroot, plum); Tajine du Maghreb (capretto, prunes, argan oil) and The Clash of Constellations (passion fruit, mango, fresh berries).
The team is already hard at work on the autumn menu which launches on March 22 2018.
MOSAIC’S RECENT AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
Chef Chantel Dartnall was named the world’s Best Female Chef at The Best Chef Awards 2017 in Warsaw. She was also placed at number 32 in the Best Chef Awards Top 100 list for 2017 and was the only South African chef listed in the top 100.
Last year Dartnall was also named 2017 Chef of the Year for Africa and the Middle East by the prestigious Luxury Travel Guide Awards. Restaurant Mosaic triumphed at the respected 2017 World of Fine Wine World’s Best Wine Lists Awards and was awarded a top-tier three-star award. Restaurant Mosaic was also named Luxury Restaurant of the Year by Travel & Hospitality.
Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient scored a hat trick at the 2017 Eat Out Awards late last year when the acclaimed eatery won the Service Excellence Award, the Wine Service Award – for sommelier Moses Magwaza – and claimed second spot in the top 10 Best Restaurants of South Africa.
Dartnall has twice been named Eat Out’s South African Chef of the Year in the past decade.
ABOUT CHEF CHANTEL DARTNALL
Award-winning chef, Chantel Dartnall, has enhanced South Africa’s status as a gourmet destination on the international culinary map, thanks to her meticulous approach to modern fine dining at the celebrated Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient. She has twice been named South African Chef of the Year at the annual Eat Out Restaurant Awards, first in 2009, and then again in 2014, while Restaurant Mosaic has continuously been placed in the top 10 eating establishments in the country. Dartnall combines her classical French training with her love of nature and is well known for creating the art of nature on her plates with delightful botanical dishes. Inspired by her travels abroad and by the setting of Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient in the Francolin Conservancy, she is passionate about using organic and seasonal produce with her innovative approach to food preparation and presentation.
Dartnall has always embraced her femininity and feels that it is important for chefs to reveal their true personalities in the way their dishes are creatively plated and presented to their guests. After graduating from the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy, acclaimed UK chef Nico Ladenis offered Dartnall a position in the kitchen of his three-star Michelin restaurant, Chez Nico at 90 Park Lane, in London – a huge break for the young chef. Dartnall has also worked with Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park in Devon, a two Michelin star establishment, while chefs such as Ladenis, Alain Ducasse and Marco Pierre White set the standards by which she measured herself on her return to South Africa. She has also gained a huge wealth of knowledge from her extensive annual travels to some of the world’s finest restaurants in Italy, Portugal, Madeira, Spain and France.
ABOUT RESTAURANT MOSAIC
Renowned South African Impressionist artists and interior decorators were commissioned to step back in time to the romantic early 1900s to create a restaurant that was both romantic and unique and which paid homage to acclaimed chef, Chantel Dartnall’s love of Parisian Belle Époque restaurants. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, which opened in 2006, has an intimate feel with booth-type seats and two private dining rooms. Unlike many other establishments, Dartnall is always in charge of the kitchen and in attendance to meet guests when the restaurant is open. The restaurant is known for its impressive degustation menus. Restaurant Mosaic is located in The Orient Private Hotel in the Francolin Conservancy Area, Elandsfontein, Crocodile River Valley, Gauteng. It is a place as unexpected as it is spectacular; an exotic Moorish-inspired palace that transports guests to another time with nothing to distract from the beauty that nature has to offer.
ABOUT MOSAIC’S WINE CELLAR
Restaurant Mosaic has one of the most comprehensive wine cellars in South Africa, comprising more than 75 000 bottles of wine under 5 500 different local and international labels. The selection of brandies, including an extensive range of Armagnac and Calvados, are unmatched anywhere else in South Africa. Sommeliers include Moses Magwaza who is the recipient of the coveted Wine Service Award at the 2017 Eat Out Awards. Magwaza was originally employed by the Francolin Conservancy as a gardener. Today he is a proud graduate of the Cape Wine Academy (CWA) and International Wine Education Centre (IWEC), obtaining his WSET Level 2 accreditation successfully in 2016 and he aims to still complete his WSET Level 3 accreditation this year. There is also Taryn Nortje, who completed the Advanced Garagist winemaking course through the Faculty of Oenology and Viticulture at the Stellenbosch of University; the Front of House Course at the Cape Wine Academy; Certificate Course, Cape Wine Academy; Wine and Spirits Education Trust Level 3 with merit and Cape Wine Academy Diploma. She is preparing to join the Court of Master Sommeliers
Restaurant Mosaic is located in The Orient Private Boutique Hotel in the Francolin Conservancy, Elandsfontein, Pretoria. GPS Location: 25 ° 45 ‘ 40.0 ” S (-25.761114), 27 ° 59 ‘ 56.6 ” E (27.999083)
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Featured image from SAPeople.