Peter the pastry chef at the 12 Apostles

Chef Caro meets a wizard with sugar and all things sweet.

23 Jun 2010

A decadent high tea is always a serious treat. The 12 Apostles have taken this indulgent occasion one step further, they have a chocolate high tea. (Click here to see pictures)

You settle into plush sink-into-heaven couches in the glamorous conservatory with one of the best views in the world - it really is spectacular. You then have the difficult but delicious task of deciding which flavour of hot chocolate you are going to order.

There are truly elegant choices with the likes of milk chocolate and Madagascan vanilla, dark chocolate and orange blossom (fantastic), white cointreau, white chocolate and cinnamon, vanilla Moscow or mocha-marula.

3 tiers of delicate savoury and (mostly) sweet delights follow, each one is elegantly crafted with an eat-me-now quality that has you basking in the gloriousness of high tea heaven. Don't plan to move for the whole afternoon.

The man behind it all? Peter Gyorgyicsek, a man with an unwavering passion and a unique talent for all things pastry and a world class sugar artist with some notable awards under his belt. Have a look at our gallery to see his work.

His sculptures are simply unbelievable and he runs sugar art workshops in Cape Town from the amateur to the professional.

I had the pleasure of chatting to the sugar man himself:

Q: What is the most beautiful sculpture you’ve made with sugar?

A: I think 2 years ago in JHB in the Mini Salon Culinary competition showpiece I created a very nice one that I am very proud of. I won first place in the general category. I have made many nice sugar sculptures but I think the best Peter Gyorgyicsek sugar art work is still to come in the near future.

Q: What made you specialise in sugar work?

A: I realised that not so many chefs can or wish to learn this beautiful art. It takes a great deal of practice.  I like to work with sugar and try to create everything I can from it.

Q: What do you love most about sugar work?

A: I like the shine, elegance and new techniques. When you create something from natural sugar, a beautiful edible decoration and you see the happiness in the guests eyes, this is a wonderful feeling. The more you make the more you love it and I am always looking for the next one to create.

Q: What is the highlight of your career so far and why?

A: I have won many Hungarian art competitions and I’ve also won 2 South African pastry competitions but I think the highest achievement  was in Luxembourg in 2002 when I helped a friend with a showpiece and we won the world championship.

I am currently working together with the best SA chefs in the SA Culinary Team. Our aim is to win a gold medal in Luxemburg in the Culinary World Cup at the end of this year. We are also going for gold in Germany 2012 in the Culinary Olympic Games.

Q: What is your style of cooking? How has it evolved and changed?

A: I like the modern, clean and elegant desserts but I respect the traditional too

Q: What inspires you?

A: It is my mind - I want to be the one of the best sugar artists in the world.

Q: What is the one implement in the kitchen you cannot do without? Why?

A: Sugar - without it I can’t create my art.

Q: What do you think of Ferran Adria and molecular gastronomy?

A: He is an extraordinary mind.

Q: If you could have anyone cook for you – who would it be?

A: I would like to work with Ewald Notter in the USA and Sthephane Klein in France. They are genius sugar artists.

Q: Your top recipe book of the moment?

A: Journey of sugar art from Stephane Klein.


The 'Chocolate High Tea': R165 for 2 including hot chocolate (non-alcoholic) or a chocolate milkshake, or R95 for 1.

Traditional 'Tea by the Sea': R150 for 2


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