SA Chef of the Year 2016 Gregory Czarnecki on Cape Town

He won top honours at the 2016 Eat Out Awards. Here, the chef de cuisine, 36, talks Netflix and gin.

I was born in Beaune Burgundy, France, and raised in 19 different countries.

Cape Town is big but, at the same time, so small; the vibe is very relaxed and trend, which makes it extremely pleasant to live… And the scenery… seriously no other town in the world can offer that!

The best restaurant meal I’ve eaten recently was at the Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient  – simply phenomenal. I flew to Pretoria to go and eat there. Chantel Dartnall’s  cuisine is  magical. Her approach to cooking is just so unique… One of the best meals I ever had .

My (other) favourite restaurants are Rust en Vrede, Delaire Graff and Terroir – all of them for their tasting menus. I like to experience the restaurant as the chef intended.

I don’t have much free time but if I have to get away, then it’s on the West Coast. That’s once a year, though

On my bucket list to still do in Cape Town is to go and watch a game at Newlands. I know, I know…  I’m busy, okay?

The best walks in my area are in the Helderberg Nature reserve. The views are quite amazing from up there and it’s five minutes away from where I stay .

Why are we still talking about banting? [in reply to us asking him what he thinks about it]

My tipple of choice is Champagne or bubbly. If not available in my fridge, then gin and tonic.

Every (good) chef should have passion, determination, and the ability to work hard.

On Sunday it’s easier to get to work ’cause there is no traffic.

Money isn’t everything.

Straight after this, I’m going to do my prep list for tomorrow.

When I wake up in the middle of the night I get a glass of water and watch Netflix.

One day I’ll stop waking up during the night.

Greg Czarnecki is the chef de cuisine at The Restaurant at Waterkloof, one of our best restaurants in Stellenbosch.

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Time of publication: 01 December 2016