Enrolled at Hurst Campus (The Culinary Academy), and interned at Cape Grace Hotel for six months under chefs Malika van Reenen and Lorraine Meaney. After graduating in 2013, he remained at Cape Grace, working his way up to demi-chef de partie within two years.
Appointed chef de partie at ENSafrica in 2014, then became kitchen and production manager of Cattle Baron in 2015. Appointed head chef at La Parada Bree Street in 2016, where he worked under Martin Senekal and Brad Ball. Promoted to brand executive chef in 2018.
Restaurants he rates in 2019
For a casual meal Speakeasy [in Durbanville]. Yes, the name says it all. I often find myself here on my off days, having a cold one and munching on some of the best wood-fired pizza the Northern Suburbs has to offer. Sure, they won’t be winning any awards, but if you are looking for a chilled laidback afternoon with some good chow, Speakeasy will definitely hit the spot.
For a special occasion Out in Tableview, just off the beachfront, you will find Homespun by Matt. As you enter, you can feel the outside world wash away; low light, soft colours, candles burning and best of all, no brand advertising visible anywhere to distract you from why you are there. Matt always finds a way to show off proudly South African flavours and ingredients. The service is always top-notch without being over the top, which allows you to have a conversation without being disturbed every few minutes. The food is well-balanced keeping in mind the hero of the dish, and Matt will always know the best wine to pair with it.
For a guilty pleasure Chefs hardly cook at home and often end their night with a slice of toast with a thick layer of peanut butter. My favourite takeout would have to be a King Steers Burger, with some heavily seasoned Steers chips.
For a Winelands experience De Grendel always comes to mind for a good-quality meal, good service and some awesome local wine. It always delivers absolutely sexy plates of food with balanced, but bold flavours (and healthy portions at a good price).
For authentic cuisine Thali. I feel Indian cuisine is one of the more tricky cuisines to master, as you are working with such bold flavours and spices. Getting those to work in harmony is a skill on its own. As a chef, it is always a treat when you can taste the passion and the hard work in the food. Best authentic experience to date!
Best new restaurant Grub & Vine. Matt Manning has brought a breath of fresh air to Bree Street. Unpretentious food, with casual yet professional service. Found myself wanting to lick the plates clean. Small open kitchen that created a show-like experience for me – I felt like putting on my chef’s jacket and joining in. Matt has also managed to follow one of the most important rules as a chef, always end of a meal with your showstopper, and his blackberry almond cake with honey custard and honeycomb is just that. Unbelievable!
The best restaurant overall Shio. Japanese food, retro interior, amazing innovative cocktails and great service. Whether you are a foodie, chef or just someone who loves a trendy spot to chill, Shio definitely ticks all the boxes, even the ones that aren’t there to be ticked!