Chef Theodorus Chiloane – who graduated from the Boksburg campus of Capsicum Culinary Studio in 2013 – is currently head chef of the world renowned andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp at Timbavati, close to the Kruger National Park.
The 30-year-old was raised in a small village called Dwaleni near Plaston in the outskirts of White River. After graduating from Capsicum, he worked at leading Joburg restaurant Gemelli before heading back to Mpumalanga.
Chiloane says that visitors to Ngala are looking forseasonal food of the best quality, prepared with the highest attention to detail and letting the food speak for itself.
He lists the three Ngala dishes he’s most proud of: The seared kudu loin served with fondant sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables and a black berry jus; kingklip with a coconut beurre blanc; pea risotto and glazed rainbow carrots and the peri-peri langoustines with shimeji mushrooms, butternut squash puree and glazed patty pan spheres.
During lockdown, he is working on developing new recipes while also getting much needed rest that chefs aren’t usually used to with their long working hours.
How has your culinary journey been thus far?
It has been a rollercoaster of hard work and self-introspection but I would not trade my experience for the world.
I needed to learn the key basics of the culinary industry and Capsicum gave me that basic knowledge. On reflection, the thing I appreciate the most about my time there was that they were truthful and prepared me for what the industry would demand from me personally and emotionally.
Is there a chef you admire the most?
Masayoshi “Masa” Takayama, who is a Japanese chef and owner of Masa, a three-Michelin-starred Japanese and sushi restaurant in Manhattan in New York City. He has a relationship with his ingredients that transcends human logic.
What is your favourite cuisine?
I love to eat Latin food and cook Mediterranean dishes.
What do you do to stay current on new trends?
Study and research constantly you can never know enough because this industry is constantly moving and changing.
Describe the most interesting industry trends:
Molecular gastronomy; plant-based food and the farm to table trend.