Hot on the heels of its gastronomic rival, Cape Town, Johannesburg welcomes yet another up-and-coming chef to its growing fold. Katlego Sebastian Mlambo has left the Mother City to take up the culinary helm of The Marabi Club, Joburg’s premium jazz and food venue and a Maboneng landmark.
Katlego joins Marabi after being Group Sous for Luke Dale-Roberts’ group of restaurants which includes The Test Kitchen, PotLuck Club, and The Shortmarket Club. He was also part of the chef team to open The Commissary. After being offered a role as Head Chef of a top-20 restaurant in Cape Town, he still decided to return to the city of his childhood in order to make an immediate and significant impact on the Joburg culinary scene.
Mlambo is now developing his own unique menu for The Marabi Club which features a variety of small sharing plates with what he describes as crisp, clean, aggressive flavours; limited starch and a balance between the buttery, creamy hues of his French training and the fresh, clean influences of Asian cuisine.
He speaks of his new opportunity with The Marabi Club as a way for the world to finally taste his own food. “This will be the first time I will be cooking and serving my own dishes to patrons. Food is a language spoken by all and I am ready to change the world, one plate at a time,” says Mlambo.
Mlambo is also making waves in the international scene and was selected as the lead chef for the Mandela 100 Years USA event which was hosted by Barack Obama in Washington DC in April earlier this year. The event was held at the African American History Museum and formed part of a greater campaign in America to celebrate Mandela’s legacy during his centenary year, as well as the 25th anniversary of the first democratic elections in South Africa. Mlambo served a specially crafted menu to 400 delegates with a refined take on traditional South African flavours and favourites. Dishes included a seven colours main course done with the refinement that Katlego’s vast range of experience and training brings to all his food.
Mlambo spent the last 10 years working under some of the best chefs the South African industry has on offer, including Luke Dale Roberts, PJ Vadas, Eric Bulpit and Scot Kirton. He also spent time in America immersing himself in a market which is on the leading edge of international culinary trends – both cooking and eating in some of the best restaurants in the world.
The Marabi Club, founded in 2017 by TJ Steyn and Dale de Ruig as part of their commitment to inner-city regeneration, serves up some of the best emerging and established jazz acts alongside plates of progressive food. This makes it a unique experience of the Joburg food scene.