For Chef Tyron Lumley, the newly appointed Executive Chef at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa in Sandton, it has always been about food. Moreover, for this seasoned chef with various accolades, a world of travelling to all the corners of the earth, and heading up some of the world’s finest establishments in his toque blanche, it has always been about respecting food, and paying homage to and preserving pure flavours and ingredients.
Originally from KwaZulu-Natal, Chef Tyron spent a large portion of his life growing up in this province, after which he moved to Johannesburg. Straight out of school, he entered the working world as a Commis Chef at Chaine des Rotisseurs’ Manna House in Hilton. During this time, Chef Tyron bravely did his formalised training – an International Diploma in Hotel Management through Varsity College and received prior learning to the Swiss hotel school in Adelaide, Australia – while simultaneously undergoing gruelling in-house training through HITB. At the time, Chaine des Rotisseurs was the equivalent of Michelin Star – the hallmark and benchmark of French cuisine and fine dining the world over. After he completed his studies and his time at Manna House, Chef Tyron spent two and a half years at the esteemed Browns of Rivonia.
It was during this time, “on one fateful night”, that Chef Tyron met a troop from Kerzner International, whointerviewed him to work in Dubai. Two days later, a formalised offer landed in his inbox. The rest, as they say, is history.
“When I started my four-year tenure as a junior sous-chef at Sun International in Dubai – now called The One and Only Resort – I was the youngest chef in the brigade, cooking alongside some of the top chefs from around the world. When I left this particular establishment, I left as a Chef de Cuisine,” says ChefTyron. “Working for Kerzner International paved the way for many wonderful opportunities and experiences, which has all culminated in being offered the position of a lifetime at one of the finest boutique hotels in the country and undoubtedly the world: Fairlawns.”
After leaving The One and Only in Dubai, Chef Tyron returned to South Africa for a brief respite, facilitating and overseeing the opening of various restaurants across the country. It wasn’t long before he returned to Dubai, opening 15 branches of the famous More Café across the UAE. This experience, in particular, taught him the ins and outs of financing and costings and what running a tight ship entails.
It wasn’t long before Chef Tyron was commissioned to open up Oman’s first More Café at the Royal Opera House. Here, he and his team catered to the needs and whims of Muscat’s wealthiest and most famous, often dealing with high-level presidential affairs and handling all the catering prior to and after the unique Opera House’s shows. Before returning to South Africa, Chef Tyron worked for high profile boutique café dining chain, Bateel International, for two and a half years. During this time, he was the Executive Chef of the chain’s production facilities, supplying all the food for 13 outlets.
“Prior to my return to South Africa, I was approached to head up the opening of the esteemed Paul’s Bakery in Melrose Arch. This involved everything from recruitment and staffing for the restaurant, to adjusting and testing recipes, because while something might work in Singapore and Dubai, for example, there is no guarantee that it would also work in a South African market and context,” adds Chef Tyron. “Soon afterwards, Fairlawns presented me with an opportunity to return to my first love – the boutique hotel environment. Some of the happiest days of my life and career have been spent working at hotels, and to have the opportunity to return to this, was an offer I absolutely couldn’t refuse.”
Michael Kewley, Managing Director of Fairlawns, says, “Not only is Tyron an excellent and highly sought-after chef, but he is also someone who knows, can identify with and adapt to the market he finds himself in. I count his fluidity in food, his unwavering passion to his trade and his wealth of knowledge and experience at some of the finest establishment in the world, as an asset. We welcome him into the Fairlawns family with open arms, and we simply cannot wait to see what he brings to the table.”
Conveniently located just 6km from central Sandton, 20km from the Johannesburg city centre and less than 25km from O.R. Tambo International Airport, Fairlawns provides upmarket travellers with the perfect haven as they come and soak up the African sun.