Mosaic is the only Gauteng restaurant (and the only one outside of the Western Cape) in the Top 10 of the Mercedes Benz Eat Out Awards taking the No 5 spot as the acclaimed restaurant celebrates a decade of excellence.
Restaurant Mosaic has been a top 10 contender in the Mercedes Benz Eat Out Restaurant Awards for the past eight years, together with Chantel Dartnall twice winning Chef of the Year – in 2009 and again in 2014.
Fellow chef David Higgs, one of this year’s three judges for the awards, described Mosaic as providing “impressive, superior food and a seasonal menu where boundaries are pushed in a magical setting.”
Says Dartnall: “We are delighted to be ranked among the best restaurants in South Africa. There are so many passionate and hardworking chefs out there so that to be selected from such an illustrious group is indeed an honour and a humbling experience.”
Mosaic’s awards for 2016 include:
The American Express Fine Dining Awards: Platinum Status for the 10th consecutive year.
The Best Chef – 500 Top Chefs in the World: Dartnall reached No 261 from only a handful of chefs from the African continent.
Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence: One of only three South African establishments to be recognised by this influential global awards programme and the only restaurant in Gauteng to achieve this accolade.
World of Fine Wine “World’s Best Wine Lists Awards”: Mosaic’s accolades for 2016 include Best Overall Wine List for Africa and the Middle East, Best Champagne and Sparkling Wine List; Best Dessert and Fortified Wine List; Best By-the-Glass Wine List and, to crown it all, a special Jury Prize for the quality and excellence of Mosaic’s approach to all things wine.
Dartnall’s vision for the next 10 years remains the same – to celebrate excellence in food and wine; creating memorable and romantic special occasions for her guests and embracing all things beautiful while being dedicated to her vision of consistency, commitment, sustainable sourcing and the upliftment of the community surrounding her restaurant.
She is as passionate as ever in her chosen career: “As we celebrate our 10 year anniversary, and amid loud expressions of gratitude and wonder, I look back upon some of my most memorable dishes and moments. It has been a journey of both growth and harmony – a beautiful symphony that is unique to Mosaic.
“My approach to cooking has matured during the past 10 years, resulting in my dishes evolving into more precise, but still delicate, botanical pieces. All the flavours are in balance with each other; from the intricate amuse bouche to the sweet savourings of dessert. Even though each one is unique on their own, they come together in a beautiful story where each ingredient becomes a chapter that in the end flow together in a perfect harmony, creating a magical ambience.
“The delicate herbs and flowers are more than just garnish, they become essential ingredients that allow you to emerge yourself not only in the tranquillity of nature but also take advantage of the health qualities of each chosen ingredient. I want to create memorable experiences and thus, each dish is not only perfectly paired with the ideal wine, but even the plate and cutlery is chosen with great care and attention to detail.
“My team is made up of people from the local community none of whom have had any classical training or any other training for that matter, apart from what they’ve learnt in the Mosaic kitchen. That’s our philosophy: building up our team and empowering them!
“Mosaic is an experience, a destination and celebration of life and I aim to further enhance that for all our guest,” says Dartnall.
After finishing school Chantel Dartnall enrolled at the Prue Leith College of Food and Wine in Centurion (now the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy). After graduating renowned UK chef Nico Ladenis offered her the position of commis chef in the kitchen of his restaurant, Chez Nico at 90 Park Lane, in London. It was a big break: At that time Nico was one of only two British chefs in possession of three Michelin stars. She also worked with Michael Caines of Gidleigh Park in Devon while chefs such as Ladenis, Alain Ducasse and Marco Pierre White set the standards by which Chantel measured herself on her return to South Africa. She regularly travels the world to keep up with trends and ensure that Mosaic continues to compete with the best dining establishments around the globe.
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.
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, Chantel is always in charge of the kitchen and in attendance to meet guests when the restaurant is open. Mosaic 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.
Mosaic has one of the finest and comprehensive cellars in South Africa and regularly hosts gourmet wine events featuring international and local wine makers. It has won numerous awards. There are more than 75 000 bottles under nearly 5 500 different labels from South Africa and around the globe. The sommelier is Germain Lehodey who comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the food and beverage department, having started his career as a sommelier at the world renowned restaurant Tour d’Argent in Paris. He has worked at top establishments in South Africa and the African continent.