South Africa’s Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic has been named the world’s Best Female Chef at The Best Chef Lady Awards 2017, which took place in Warsaw yesterday (October 25).
She was also placed at number 32 in the Best Chef Awards Top 100 list for 2017, the highest positioned woman and one of only three to make the top 50 (Spain’s Elena Azark is 33rd and France’s Anne-Sophie Pic is 47th). Dartnall is the only South African chef listed in the top 100.
Launched in Poland in 2016, this international competition seeks out the world’s top chefs in terms of culinary artistry and visual presentation. The winning chefs are selected in six categories by 300 voters comprising chefs, food writers and culinary experts across the globe as well as 1,5 million followers on the competition’s digital platform.
Dartnall – who has twice been named South Africa’s Chef of the Year – beat out strong competition from globally acclaimed chefs including the aforementioned Arzak (Best Chef – Lady 2016 winner) of the three Michelin starred restaurant Arzak; Emma Bengtsson who is at the helm of the two Michelin-starred Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit in New York; Pic who gained three Michelin stars for her restaurant, Maison Pic in France and Clare Smyth, the first and only female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin-stars in the UK with her establishment Core.
Dartnall was over the moon with the recognition: “What a great honour to have been selected as the 2017 Best Female Chef by The Best Chef Awards in Warsaw – it was an incredible moment. I have to thank all the amazing people in my life who work just as hard to guide and assist me in this journey and help to make all these wonderful dreams a reality. I also want to thank all the Mosaic customers who have supported me during the 11 years Restaurant Mosaic has been in operation.”
In June, Dartnall was named 2017 Chef of the Year for Africa and the Middle East by the prestigious Luxury Travel Guide Awards. In the same week Restaurant Mosaic triumphed at the respected 2017 World of Fine Wine World’s Best Wine Lists Awards and awarded a top-tier three-star award. Restaurant Mosaic was also named Luxury Restaurant of the Year by Travel & Hospitality.
Dartnall’s current spring/summer menu at Restaurant Mosaic is named “Cosmorganic” and alludes to the “supposed character of the universe as a living organism whose atoms are severally endowed with sensibility, asserting that the organic in the whole of the universe, as well as in the narrow sphere of single bodies on the earth, is the first thing from which the inorganic was separated…”
It again features Dartnall’s signature Botanical Cuisine, using only the best seasonal produce with Dartnall taking her cue from nature, and includes 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).
Restaurant Mosaic also boasts one of the most comprehensive wine cellars in Africa, comprising of more than 75 000 bottles of wine under 5 500 different local and international labels.
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For more information visit www.thebestchefawards.com; www.restaurantmosaic.com and www.the-orient.net
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.
She 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.
She 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 Dartnall 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 Conservation 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. Internationally acclaimed sommelier, Germain Lehodey, comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the food and beverage industry, having started his career as sommelier at the world-renowned Tour d’Argent restaurant in Paris. Germain’s protégé and commis sommelier, Moses 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.
Restaurant Mosaic is located in The Orient Boutique Hotel in the Francolin Conservancy, Elandsfontein, Pretoria. GPS Location: 25 ° 45 ‘ 40.0 ” S (-25.761114), 27 ° 59 ‘ 56.6 ” E (27.999083)
Visit www.restaurantmosaic.com and www.the-orient.net.