I’m sure you’ve heard the story of Tintswalo Atlantic… it reads like a fairytale that involved a devastating fire, a team of passionate and brave staff and an extremely (and beautiful) happy ending. Tintswalo Atlantic offers mountain and sea views you can only dream about, and private suites that tempt you into hibernation, but it was the food that got DECO even more impressed…
Since the lodges rebuild, after the tragic fires in 2015, in-house Chef Jeantelle van Staden appears to have made it her mission to satisfy the tastebuds of every soul who enters Tintswalo Atlantic… And she has certainly succeeded! We had to find out more about what makes this sassy chef tick and the secrets behind the overwhelming contentment that is the Tintswalo experience.
What is the inspiration behind the Tintswalo menu and dining experience?
We change our menus change daily; ensuring that we are as creative as possible with seasonal produce. Our unique setting means that fresh linefish and seafood is always available to us, but we are adamant about sourcing and cooking sustainably. Our aim is that every time you visit Atlantic you get a different meal experience. So we focus on entertaining guests with different flavours, cooking styles and textures, whilst still meeting their personal requests.
Where did you begin your food journey and what lead you to Tintswalo?
I started cooking at a very young age and my mother saw a spark of passion early on. After a four year Chef’s In-Service Apprenticeship at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton the chef bug had bitten and there was no turning back. I made a point of exploring all avenues of cheffing – I joined the team at Serengeti Golf Estate’s Ei8teen, then did some freelancing and corporate catering and even lectured at HTA School of Culinary Arts. All this time, Cape Town was calling and in 2013 I packed my car and took the risk, making the big move. Within my first month Tintswalo had been in touch and the rest, as they say is history.
Tintswalo Atlantic has become my second family, I have an amazing kitchen brigade and creative freedom to try almost anything. And of course I have the absolute best kitchen view ever.
If you could work beside any chef?
Definitely Raymond Blanc; I love the humour and passion he puts into he’s food. I’d love to be able to cook his favourite homely dish, it’s always so interesting to know what every chef’s ideal meal is.
Advice for budding cooks?
Apprenticeship! It’s easy to be a chef and anyone can do it, however to achieve greatness takes blood, sweat and tears. I don’t think culinary students really get the true feel of what it means to be a chef when they study at a college; they need to be on their feet, prepping, running, seeing, tasting and experiencing…once they’ve pushed through this and they still see this career as one of the greatest, then you know that they’ll be the best.
What is trending in the food world right now?
Lighter, healthier foods along with sustainability is making a huge appearance. People are more conscious about how and where their produce has come from, and what’s actually being added to foods. This seems to have lead more and more people to choosing vegetarianism and veganism as a life choice – and getting quite creative with it.
How can we spice up the good ol’ fashioned Mac n Cheese?
Pecorino, Roasted Garlic paste and Coppa ham crumbs
BOOK YOURSELF IN – YOU DESERVE IT!
For more information and booking queries visit Tintswalo online and follow them on Facebook and Twitter
tintswalo.com | facebook.com/TintswaloLodges | @Tintswalolodges
Read about the luxury that is Tintswalo Safari here.
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