During the first 3 months in our kitchen, Paul Antolik has trained and uplifted staff and has implemented a new ‘texture and flavors’ focused food.
Paul has a wide variety of culinary experience. He has worked in large banqueting-style kitchens, a 1000 covers ala carte lunch restaurant in Dubai, smaller family run 30-seater restaurants such as the Nicolson in Hilton, prestigious 5-star game lodges including Singita Sweni and Lebombo where he worked on the Singita School of Cooking development. Paul spent time in Tanzania at a group of luxury lodges as a Chef Trainer, set up his own fresh produce farm and quickly became a leader in the small-scale organic farming community of KwaZulu-Natal.
Paul has built strong relationships with our guests, suppliers and staff and continues to facilitate efficient interdepartmental teamwork.
Here is what Paul had to say:
“Being the Executive Chef at Hartford House Hotel is such an honor and privilege. Growing up in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal and spending many of my childhood weekends exploring the Midlands Meander and fly fishing in the Drakensberg, this area has always been close to my heart.
When I first started my chef apprenticeship, my family would spoil me on special occasions by bringing me to eat at Hartford House. I remember watching and listening to Jackie Cameron explaining her menu and I always imagined that it would take such hard work, creativity, confidence, and consistency to be the Exec Chef at such an iconic hotel. It was something I could only dream of.
KwaZulu-Natal is a treasure chest of amazing produce. I have met so many great local farmers and producers and most of our menu is based on what these suppliers can provide us. The closer to home the food is produced, the fresher it is, the less packaging is involved, the more sustainable it is for the producer and the tastier it is for our guests.
‘Flavour first’, this is what food is about. Presenting food beautifully and manipulating ingredients in different ways is always fun and does play a role in creating a great culinary experience but nothing comes before flavour. I want to showcase our local suppliers’ produce in its most basic form so that our guests can taste the difference between mass produced produce and a small-scale producer’s products that are made with love, passion, and care.”