Candice Philip is the Head Chef at Grei which is located at the five-star Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa. She is well-respected for her focus and calm demeanour, and highly regarded for her skill and passion. She has the innate ability to conjure up imaginative flavours, making them work within one complete dish.
Philip’s grace and reverence for her craft have seen industry professionals honour her with sought after accolades and Olympic stature. In 2016, she was honoured with a Design Indaba nomination for Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa. This was the first for a culinary item in the awards, which seeks to acknowledge creativity and innovation in South Africa. She describes her approach to cooking as an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ kind of scenario” by putting her own interpretation into dishes.
Centred around a palate of grey tones, Chef Candice Philip’s new fine-dining restaurant promises to be a vivid burst of colour for local and international food lovers. Chef Candice, who has been with the Saxon for over a decade, will be opening the doors of her very own restaurant on 19 April 2018.
Grei, which loosely translates from Portuguese as “a society of people” will blend together Chef Candice’s love of unusual pairings, her passion for herbaceous flavours and her signature style of intricately-plated dishes.
Essentially, grey is colour without colour. This has been a huge inspiration in developing the look and feel of the space, and menu. We’ve always worked with the garden and its produce, focusing first on organic and heirloom, and later looking to the proteins. But for me, the herbs are often the little things that are overlooked. Not only do they bring an enticing aroma to the food, but also great flavour and colour.
Chef Candice Philip | Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa
We’ve always worked with the garden and its produce, focusing first on organic and heirloom, and later looking to the proteins. But for me, the herbs are often the little things that are overlooked. Not only do they bring an enticing aroma to the food, but also great flavour and colour.
Appropriately, her menu will have the smell and flavour of the herbs running through it. Dishes will feature unusual pairings and natural, succulent flavours. The menu will highlight the three key flavours from each dish and convey a different colour with each course.
The menu will be available as a six-courses, paired with a combination of international and local wines. There will also be a non-alcoholic pairing option as well as vegetarian- and pescatarian-suited menus.
Grei’s décor will celebrate texture and, fittingly, different tones of grey. From feature-walls with fur and beading, to textured table cloths and carpets. The muted tones will create a calm, sophisticated atmosphere for the colour of the dishes to stand out.
Chef Candice, who was intimately involved in the design conceptualisation and installation was inspired by the Scandinavian’s simple, minimal and sophisticated approach to plating, food and restaurants. The space will be classic and elegant, but also understated and unintimidating.
The intimate, 32-seater restaurant will be located upstairs at the Saxon Hotel in Sandhurst. It will overlook the trees and indigenous gardens of the five-star location. The restaurant also features a small private dining room and retains its open-theatre kitchen which has become synonymous with the space.
Chef Candice intends to bring elements of the unusual to Grei’s dining experience – from the spelling of the restaurant’s name, the menu layout all the way through to the paired ingredients in the dishes.
“Since joining the Saxon, I’ve been privileged to work alongside some of the country’s best Chefs – including Chef David Higgs and Chef Luke Dale-Roberts,” she says. “I’m excited to bring my own long-held vision to life in the form of Grei. I really want people to come and appreciate what we’re doing – to take the time and enjoy the journey.”
Philip will be supported by sous chef Wynand van Wyk, and her experienced team.
Grei will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 18h30. Reservations are essential.
Chef Candice Philip Competitions and Achievements:
• Senior Member of the South African National Culinary Team: 2007 – 2010
• South Africa Sunday Times Chef of the Year: 2nd Place: June 2007
• Culinary Olympics, Germany: October 2008
• Gold Medal – Restaurant of Nations
• Silver Medal – Aspic Cold Table
• Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Regional Finals: 1st Place: April 2009
• Chaîne des Rôtisseurs National Finals: 2nd Place: May 2009
• Global Chefs Challenge Semi Final: 1st Place: 2013
• Global Chefs Challenge, World Final: July 2014
• DSTV Food Network Restaurant Awards (Eat Out) – Best SA Restaurants: 2nd Place: November 2013
• Mercedes Benz Eat Out Awards – Best SA Restaurants: 2nd Place: November 2014
• Mercedes Benz Eat Out Awards – Best SA Restaurants: 5th Place: November 2015
• World Travel Awards – Worlds Best Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant: December 2016
• Mercedes Benz Eat Out Awards – Best SA Restaurants: Top 20: November 2017