Henrico Grobbelaar is one of South Africa’s most creative and celebrated young chefs with a long list of accolades, most notably winning Sunday Times Chef of the Year 2009 and San Pellegrino International Young Chef of the World 2009. His enviable resumé lists positions including Executive Chef to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland 2010 and 2010 FIFA World Cup.
He is no stranger to the South African National Culinary Team and began his Olympic culinary journey on the development team in 2005 having since worked his way through the ranks to become the 2016 team captain. Henrico currently oversees the main course in the hot kitchen and in the cold kitchen he is responsible for overseeing the platters.
The SA National Culinary Team is a platform for chefs to go above and beyond. In our jobs, we work long hours and are under pressure all the time. As a member of the team, even your down time becomes more kitchen time, allowing you to hone your skills and creativity. It takes a lot of commitment, discipline, focus and dedication to be on the team. This all culminates in two days of competition at the IKA Culinary Olympics, with 2000+ chefs in their whites battling it out for gold. This is the highest level of gastronomy excellence and I am excited to represent South Africa
Henrico Grobbelaar | Executive Chef Tsogo Sun’s Southern Sun The Cullinan
Although the crisp, white chef’s jacket always held some type of mystery and fascination, he qualified as a polymer engineer in 2001. Swimming against the tide, Henrico made the seemingly radical decision to exchange his career in engineering for one as a chef…and hasn’t looked back since.
“To be a chef, you must have a tenacious personality because this industry is a demanding one that requires a high level of commitment and effort if you want to succeed. It is a creative craft and you must be able to receive criticism well. The hours are long and the environment is hot, fast and noisy, but the rewards are huge,” says Henrico of his craft.
Rather than enrolling at a Chef’s Academy, he peeled vegetables as an apprentice chef for three years under Australian chef, Michael Bridgeman – further proof of his deep-rooted passion for the culinary world. He then joined Garth Stroebel and Paul Hartmann at what was then their brand new South African Culinary Academy, and graduated top of his class. Under chefs Stroebel and Hartmann, the world of cuisine revealed itself to be every bit as rich and exacting as he had anticipated.
Henrico Grobbelaar constantly pushes boundaries to grow his skills. His cuisine is innovative and exciting as is evidenced in his ability to elevate classic dishes to mouth-watering new heights. His rise to ‘fame’ hasn’t been meteoric. It has been steady and consistent. After more than a decade in the industry, Henrico joined Tsogo Sun’s Southern Sun The Cullinan hotel in February 2016 as the Executive Chef.
The South African National Culinary Team will be participating in the IKA Culinary Olympics under the auspices of the South African Chefs Association. Their participation has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of headline sponsor LSC/Imperial, along with partners City Lodge Hotel Group, ChefWorks, Turn ‘n Slice and N1 Restaurant Suppliers.
Starter of Cape Crayfish Malay – poached crayfish, pressed carrot terrine, carrot mayonnaise and Malay curry sauce.
Main course of Springbok ‘Masakhane’ – pan-roasted loin of Springbok, rolled veal sweetbreads, red cabbage and cider purée, savoy cabbage and Boulangére potato.
Dessert is a textured Splash of Raspberry, Rose, Coconut and White Chocolate – coconut sand, coconut sorbet, coconut sponge, rose jelly, rose meringue, raspberry mousse, and raspberry jelly.