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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.