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WATCH: The force behind The Restaurant at Waterkloof - Chef Gregory Czarnecki on being SA's top chef

Food & Drink
Cape Town - The Restaurant at Waterkloof is an architectural wonder perched on a terroir in Somerset West. The vistas are endless and the sense of being a part of art as you sit at your table is all-consuming.

Chef Gregory Czarnecki, in keeping with the style of his restaurants has been creating consumable master pieces.

What makes Czarnecki tick?

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Chef Gregory Czarnecki has been making waves with is intricate cuisine. Picture: Supplied by Waterkloof

“I am all about the balance of flavour. I am minimalist in terms of flavours. I do not put too many flavours on a plate. I stick to three or four and I try not to hide the flavours by adding too much spices.

The signature dish is the salt crusted celeriac. Picture: Supplied by Waterkloof

“If I use spices it is more for the fragrance that’s the actual strength of the spice. I try to find balance on a plate.”

Like something out of a design book, his plates are mesmerising. His love of art and flavours translate precisely into his style of cooking.

On creating a perfect dish he doesn’t think that one can never reach perfection.

“Perfection is according to someone specific, some might taste your dish and not find it perfect. We try to come as close as possible to perfection but we’ll never get there. And that is what keeps up busy, trying new things to better yourself.”


Czarnecki understands what it takes to keep palates happy. Seasonal produce, unique techniques and new textures keep his creativity flowing.

Once you have been named on the top three list in the country the standard needs to unwavering.

The signature dish at Restaurant at Waterkloof is celeriac cooked in a salt crust and it is served with Parmesan and passion fruit.

“I am a big fan of forgotten vegetables and I love celeriac. I wanted to have a dish that is very earthy, very old school and pair it with something that is completely the opposite like the passion fruit. It took a while to get the right balance but I am very happy with it and it is the one that gets the biggest feedback so far.”

The restaurant is an architectural splendour. Picture: Supplied by Waterkloof

The sweet and salty comparison lies on total opposites of the scale. The tension between the two tastes make for a beautiful piece of art.

Czarnecki is still in disbelief about being named the Eat Out S Pellegrino and Acqua Panna Chef of the Year.

“I am very very honoured to be named one of the top chefs in the country. I am still surprised. I come to work to fulfill a passion, that passion almost became an obsession so I spend a lot of time here.”

Weekend Argus

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