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Farrel Hirsch – formerly of The Test Kitchen now cooking up a storm at View restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff in Joburg

“I love meeting the people I’m cooking for, and sharing with them the stories of the food I make” says chef Farrel Hirsch.

12 Sep 2017

(images: supplied)

MEDIA RELEASE - Having worked alongside some of Europe and South Africa’s most acclaimed chefs, Farrel Hirsch now brings his exuberant mix of passion and experience to Joburg with his appointment as chef of the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg’s flagship eatery, View Restaurant

The 30-year-old studied professional cookery in Nottingham, and was declared runner-up for that city’s 2008 Young Chef of the Year competition. After five years of working in the UK, the pull of home proved too strong: he moved back to Durban, where he was born, to join The Oyster Box Hotel’s Grill Room Restaurant. 

Having worked in the kitchens of the Singita group of luxury lodges, his two most recent posts were in Cape Town where he worked with Peter Tempelhoff at the acclaimed Greenhouse Restaurant. He then worked at The Test Kitchen (awarded Top Restaurant in SA at the Eat Out Awards from 2012 to 2016) seconding Luke Dale-Roberts before becoming head chef at View Restaurant.

Hirsch loves to travel, experiencing different cultures and meeting new people. “I love stepping out of my comfort zone – I’m always excited by the idea of the unknown,” he says. “Nothing beats going to a foreign country where no one speaks English and pointing at the dish being eaten at the table next to you, and order that. Not to taste is not to know.”

This curious, adventurous spirit informs his approach back home in the kitchen. “If you look close enough at View’s dishes there will always be a classic thought behind it but pushed out far enough so that it is something completely new,” he says.

While the unsurpassed vistas of Joburg’s jacaranda-cloaked northern suburbs makes any meal at View unforgettable by default, the sociable Hirsch is committed to serving up much more than great food and incredible views. For him, the personal touch is paramount.

“I love meeting the people I’m cooking for, and sharing with them the stories of the food I make” he says. 

62°C egg with sweet potato, shiitake, chilli, ginger, baby kale and spinach

“While I see my role as building on the stellar dining experience created by my predecessor, I do have a few changes of my own up my sleeve,” Hirsch confirms. “The first is the launch of “Preview” – a bar-inspired casual dining experience offering small plates and fantastic drinks. The emphasis at View, on the other hand, is on taking guests on a culinary journey – with set menus and wine pairings in a more sophisticated setting.“


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