When Henrico Grobbelaar began his working life, he started out as a polymer engineer – a career in the field of science and industry. It’s certainly a far cry from what he does today, having become a leading chef with an impressive reputation in South Africa’s food industry.
So what drove his move from one field to an entirely different one?
Grobbelaar is a great believer in the quote: “Passion is what gives meaning to our lives. It’s what allows us to achieve success beyond our wildest imagination.”
It reflects in the impressive feats that have marked his career, as well as in his vision for food.
“I keep my passion alive by constantly learning,” he says. “There are always new trends, new styles and new techniques, and this is so thrilling.”
Fervent about food and cooking, Grobbelaar has achieved incredible recognition in his field in just a few years. With a long list of achievements, his successes include winning four Culinary Olympic medals and heading up the South African Culinary Olympic team for two years, being named as top chef of the year in both international and local culinary competitions, and being awarded a FIFA Hospitality Excellence Award for his work during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
He has been involved in a number of leading projects in his field, most notably serving as part of the creative team that worked on the design of the state-of-the-art kitchens and Equus Restaurant at Stellenbosch’s award-winning Cavalli Estate. “The restaurant is the first Green Star-rated culinary destination in the country, so I am particularly happy to have been part of what was a ground-breaking project,” he enthuses.
His talent and skill has enhanced the tables of a number of leading establishments – from Cape Town’s Twelve Apostles Hotel to the Southern Sun The Cullinan Hotel, and now at the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers, where he takes up the position of Executive Chef.
He explains that his goal is to excite and satisfy diners through taste. “I aim to adhere to the basic principles of food: to achieve the correct balance, texture, colour and flavour. That way, we will build long-lasting relationships with our customers, and develop a reputation that we can be very proud of.”
Already known for the quality of its meals, the Cape Town Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers is now offering Grobbelaar’s passion to those looking for something special.